A New National Holiday – A Riddle

By Maria Moss

By all rights, I should be a nation­al hol­i­day in the Unit­ed States.

I am not as polit­i­cal­ly incor­rect as Colum­bus Day which Native Amer­i­cans are not real­ly crazy about (who can blame them?);

I’m not as solemn as Vet­er­ans Day, which is more a day of remem­brance for those who served in the wars than a day of celebration;

I’m not as gen­er­al as Pres­i­dents’ Day that was orig­i­nal­ly sup­posed to only com­mem­o­rate George Washington’s birth­day but now has become the gener­ic hol­i­day for all U.S. presidents;

and I’m cer­tain­ly not as cru­el to the unsus­pect­ing turkey as Thanks­giv­ing Day is (although the tons of food that are con­sumed on my spe­cial day are cer­tain­ly not veg­e­tar­i­an either).

Despite all of these dis­cour­ag­ing facts, I feel hope­ful since the peo­ple who like and endorse me will soon be in the major­i­ty – at least in Cal­i­for­nia. And we all know what hap­pens once it has hap­pened in Cal­i­for­nia, right?

Curi­ous? Read more.

CDMCin­co de Mayo start­ed to come into vogue in the Unit­ed States dur­ing the influx of Chi­canos in the 1930s and 1940s. Even­tu­al­ly, it gained in pop­u­lar­i­ty and spread from Olvera Street in down­town Los Ange­les to the rest of Cal­i­for­nia as well as into the south­west­ern parts of the Unit­ed States.

Con­trary to com­mon belief, Cin­co de Mayo has noth­ing to do with Mexico’s Inde­pen­dence Day, which is cel­e­brat­ed on Sep­tem­ber 16. Rather, it is a cel­e­bra­tion of Mexico’s vic­to­ry over French troops on May 5, 1862.

Cin­co de Mayo, a col­or­ful fes­ti­val of Mex­i­can cul­ture and her­itage, is cel­e­brat­ed in all areas with large Mex­i­can-Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tions like New York, Chica­go, and Houston.CDM2

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