5 de Mayo
Let me start by telling you that in the 32 years that I lived in Mexico City, and the year that I lived in France, I never celebrated 5 de Mayo . It is a holiday observed by schools, but I am pretty sure it is not mandatory for corporations or even government offices. It is not that important for us.
I have lived in Los Angeles five years now and, so far, I have attended 5 de Mayo parties almost every year, people congratulate me (wide-eyed emoji here) and this year there’s even going to be a celebration in my daughter’s preschool: they’re bringing a taco truck and a mariachi band that will play all over the school (good luck with that).
I have been through many phases regarding this holiday:
- Arrogant phase: Ugh. If only these people knew that this holiday is so irrelevant to us.
- Angry phase: There’s no such thing as 5 d mayo! Taco shells? Really?
- Preachy phase: The most important national holiday is September 16th, you know, where we celebrate our independence from Spain. In the year of 1810, Miguel Hidalgo… Zzzz!
- Surrender phase: Sigh. I’ll bring a bottle of Mezcal…
- Acceptance phase: This is where I am now, keep reading…
I decided to find out more about why 5 de Mayo is important for Latin people living in the U.S. I learned that Californians have been celebrating it since the mid-1800s (!!) I am not going to get into details, you can read more about it if you click here. Bottom line is that I moved into acceptance when I understood that the 5 de Mayo which commemorates the Battle of Puebla and that it is a not-that-important holiday in Mexico, is different from the 5 de Mayo that people all over the U.S. celebrate nowadays. There are two separate holidays born from the same historical event. That’s it.
Now that I made peace with the idea of celebrating this holiday, I will post some authentic Mexican recipes* for your 5 de Mayo gather: Enchiladas Verdes, Pastel Azteca aka Vegetarian Enchilada, and Sangria.
* Except for the Sangria, but I think I deserve a free pass for that one, don’t you?