Many Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) but some are confused about what the day is actually celebrating. The popular assumption is that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule but that day is celebrated on September 16.
Cinco de Mayo Facts
- It commemorates the Battle of Puebla: A true David and Goliath story where the well-equipped French Army was defeated by the Mexican Army which was outnumbered and unequipped.
- The French actually won the war: Napoleon III sent 30,000 more troops and took over Mexico City and installed Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico a year after the Battle of Puebla. Mexico was able to expel the French 3 years later.
- Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on a larger scale in the US than it is in Mexico.
- In Mexico the day is not a national holiday but it is celebrated regionally in the States of Puebla and Veracruz. It is a patriotic celebration of Mexican unity.
- The largest celebration of Cinco de Mayo take places in Los Angeles, CA.
From my perspective, Cinco de Mayo is an important celebration in the US because it gives Mexicanos, and Mexican-Americans the opportunity to display many elements of their beautiful and rich culture. Many of the festivities have been expanded to include Latinos whose ancestry is not Mexican, as well.
Rail Yards Market
On Sunday, May 4 from 9am to 3pm, the Rail Yards Market opens to the public. Why celebrate with us? The Rail Yards Market community-members value all of the different cultures that make New Mexico a beautiful mosaic of people and places. They strive to create an inclusive environment and in that respect have themed the day around Cinco de Mayo, emphasizing, Mexicano/Latino culture, with educational programming and activities including but not limited to: 1. Mariachis and Aztec Dancers will be performing at the Opening Ceremonies! 2. Artist Brendon O’Brien will be demonstrating and making hydro-calcite cast reproductions of ancient Mayan stone carvings such as the Mayan Calendar at the “Live-Art” Zone! 3. Jake Foreman, community activist with Cycles of Life, will be demonstrating bicimaquinas in action by making bike-powered organic fruit smoothies at the “Traditional Zone.” Cycles of Life creates a space that supports, encourages, and strengthens youth to realize their innate potential as compassionate leaders for the 21st century through Bicycling, Gardening, and Art and takes a holistic approach to health by stimulating the mind, body and soul! 4. At the “Children’s Zone” Princess Marisol & the Moon Thieves/La Princesa Marisol y los Robalunas multimedia eBook to be played in English and Spanish. Published by Community Publishing, this multicultural adventure takes the audience around the world and back to the Land of Enchantment. FUSION Theater Company has adapted it for the stage: performances begin in June 2014. Children will be taught to make instruments out of recycled materials and be encouraged to play along! Narrator and Singer/Song-writer Jackie Zamora will be there to share her insights and lend a hand! 5. Casa Flamenca will be performing! Casa Flamenca is dedicated to educated the community in the art of Flamenco and producing world-class Flamenco art. They will be on the Main Stage! 6. Artist Geronimo Garcia will be exhibiting his “Dia de los Muertos” themed art! Look for him in the “Pop-Up Art Zone!” 8. Warehouse 508 will be showcasing their Youth Slam Poetry team at the “Community Stage!” 9, Main Stage performers;
- Jade Masque, an immensely talented R&B group will be performing!
- Ruben Vail brings his unique-eclectic style to the Rail Yards Market!
Thank you to Shavone Otero, Priscilla Garcia, Ramona Teo and April Parrish for contributions to this blog post. A big thank you to all the Rail Yards Market partners, sponsors, educators, vendors, community organizers AND a special thank you to the volunteers!
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Alex Paramo is an Author and Co-Founder of Community Publishing. Community Publishing brings local artists of all mediums together in creative collaborations for distribution as multimedia eBooks while promoting literacy in our communities. #JoinOurCommunity at http://communitypublishing.org We are proud to be a community partner in the Rail Yards Market initiative.