Pop quiz: Raise your hand if you actually know what Cinco de Mayo* is all about. Come on, let’s see ‘em! …That’s what I thought.
*That’s “5th of May”, for those of you who don’t speak Spanish
The Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo is about more than just margaritas and buckets of Corona…not that you’d know it by watching the hoards of drunken real estate agents revelers running all over downtown Bellingham this afternoon. Aside from the drink specials, Mariachi bands and culturally dubious over-sized sombreros, there is a real cause for celebration on this special day. I won’t pretend to be a scholar of Mexican history, so I will happily borrow from Wickipedia…
“Cinco de Mayo is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.”
Here in Bellingham, as in most of the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has taken on a cultural significance more along the lines of other national “holidays” like Oktoberfest, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Chinese New Year, celebrating the Mexican people and customs as much as the historical events of the day, itself. Cinco de Mayo is a day for all of us to take a minute and reflect upon the fact that our country owes much of its character and custom to people who didn’t sail across the seas from Europe…at least not the White ones… This would be an awfully boring place to live if we didn’t have the cultural and ethnic diversity brought to us by people hailing from outside our borders. As much as I love my Guinness, Spaten, and Smithwick’s, I don’t think I’d want to live in a world without Corona and Patron Silver margarita’s…
On that note, there are some special events happening tonight around Bellingham where you can go raise your glasses AND your cultural awareness!
- Boundary Bay Brewery: Boundary Bay’s Chili Beer, Tacos, Churros and live music by Trio Lucero Del Norte
- Fireside Martini and Wine Bar: Drink and food specials, tequila seminars
- El Gitano: the Sunset Square El Gitano is having some kind of big thing tonight.
Ok…this is disappointing. Nobody else has anything else posted online for events. Come on Bellingham, get with the times, already! …or at least call me and let me know what’s happening! That being said, there are the obvious choices, like:
- Cinco de Mayo: Obviously they will be serving lots and lots of margaritas, beers, etc.
- Casa Que Pasa: …ditto…
I must admit…I feel a little defeated by not having found more events…please don’t hate me. I’ll do better next time…I promise. There is only one thing to do in this situation…Margaritas!
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