Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Now that I'm not in Mexico, I can finally celebrate the Fifth of May! What??? you may say, How come you don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico? The answer is simple: I could, but without others to join in the festivities, it's not so much fun.
Cinco de Mayo - Just Another Day in Mexico
Exactly! Counterintuitive and surprising as it may be, the Fifth of May is not really celebrated in Mexico ... that much. I mean, certainly, people acknowledge the occasion, and if you buy someone a drink they probably won't refuse. But otherwise, it's a day not unlike its direct neighbor, May the Fourth, a widely observed holiday among Star Wars fans, but otherwise ... a day like any other.
A Bit of Historical Background
Just a reminder for those who don't know: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla of 1862, when the Mexican Army defeated a French expeditionary force in the war known as "The Second French Intervention". The reasons behind this event was Mexico forfeiting on paying back some loans to France, Spain, and Britain, who formed an alliance to invade Mexico. In the end, however, it was only the French who would press on, their allies opting for diplomatic negotiation instead.
As it is often the case, Mexico won the battle but lost the war, suffering a defeat at the Second Battle of Puebla, only two weeks later. Ultimately, this also led to Napoleon III taking over the country's leadership, making his cousin Maximilan of Habsburg the second Mexican emperor ... for a brief three years. Very typical for the tumultuous 19th century history of Mexico. But the victory of the First Battle of Puebla remained in the Mexican mindset as an important boost to patriotic sentiments.
In Puebla, it is still commemorated regularly with a historical reenactment. And in the rest of the country...? Sure, it's mentioned whenever someone brings up historical moments to be proud of. But as a holiday? Hardly. Not so in the United States! Here you can see restaurants and grocery stores decking out their windows with Day of the Dead paper cuttings, and other misplaced Mexican imagery, to remind everyone of Cinco de Mayo. Members of the Mexican community don't need such reminders, and living in the US they do celebrate the Fifth of May as a day of Mexican cultural heritage. But just like St. Paddy's Day, it's also celebrated by Non-mexicans, probably even more passionately (and sometimes more embarrassingly).
Again That Painted Bicycle...!
So, what was my inspiration for writing this post? After all, I don't think I'll be celebrating this day more than Easter or St. Patrick's Day. And if you remember my posts of the last couple months, it was precisely these two holidays I saw the painted bike for! In my last one I even puzzled on whether it was painted every month, or if they had a few of them in storage. But looking at this picture now, I'm pretty sure the former option to be the case. Here you can actually see a spot on the top part of the front wheel, where a bit of purple paint is shining through from Easter. So yes, mystery solved!!! The only question that remains is which color and for which holiday the bike will be painted next.