It's Cinco de Mayo! A Mexican celebration that's Not celebrated in Mexico!! Why this celebration began in the U.S. not even Wikipedia could give me a good answer, but in case you are wondering, Cinco de Mayo is Not Mexican Independence Day, that's on September 16!
So here's a short story about the significance of the date. Back then Mexico had just lost half of its territory in the Mexican-American War, plus had two additional internal wars. The country was totally broke so President Benito Juarez (my all time favorite quote: "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.") issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payment were to be suspended for two years. Britain and Spain eventually agreed, but France under Napoleon III used this as an excuse to invade Mexico.
The cool part came at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5th, 1862, the Mexican Army was able to defeat the French Army. We won the battle but lost the war and a year later Mexico became part of the French Empire, that lasted only three years, but that's another story. The point is, the date is significant because it is a symbol of unity and national pride, but nobody gets the day of work or school.
Fast forward 150 years and it's a symbol for fun and drinking in the U.S., who am I to go against tradition? This is how I decorated my garden window:
The old couple is Mexican folk art made in paper mache, the colored paper represents the Mexican flag and I made the red cut paper following very easy instructions from Baby Deco blog. All the decor is among the things I already have at home, I originally thought of having empty beer bottles, but didn't get them in time....maybe next year!
Things to do in San Diego:
Fiesta Old Town
Of Course! The place fills up with vendors, food, drinks, music and it's Free to attend, walk around and enjoy the festivities. This is a three day event, starting on Friday May 4th. The best advice I can give you here.....use public transportation!!
San Diego Gaslamp
While they won't be shutting down streets like the do for Mardi Gras or St Patty's lots of bars and restaurants will be having specials...nothing wrong with that!
OK, so this one is not neccesarily typical, but it's pretty awesome. USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) will be Christened and launched on May 5th, the ceremony will start at 7:30 PM, this is an event free and open to the public. The shipyard is located at 2798 East Harbor Drive and you are encouraged to wear long pants, shirt/blouse with sleeves and flat closed-toe shoes.
"Named in honor of the labor leader, USNS Cesar Chavez is the 14th ship of the T-AKE class of dry cargo-ammunition ships that NASSCO is building for the Navy. When the Cesar Chavez joins the fleet in 2012, its primary mission will be to deliver more than 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships on the move at sea."
I went to a similar event last year and it is truly amazing. I am not one to be excited about military things, but something like this is overwhelming and it doesn't hurt to know that a lot of the labor that creates that enourmous ship comes from my hometown of Mexicali! Here's a clip that I took from last year's launching of USNS William McLean, it was taken with a Flip recorder so the sound is not the best...still, I get goose bumps every time I watch it.
Free Comic Book Day
OK, so this has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo, but it will be held on May 5th, so I had to include it!
"Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores."This is the first year I will participate in this event and will be going to Villainous Lair on Adams Ave to check out which comic books are free, click on the link above to check out which participating comic book shop is near you.
So eat, drink, get comic books and have lots of fun this weekend...Happy Cinco de Mayo!!