Happy Cinco de Mayo!

By Dina Ginzburg

Today, Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike are celebrating Cinco de Mayo to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over invading French troupes in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. This holiday is more than the stereotypical image of sombreros and mariachis that most people immediately think of. Here are a few cool facts about Cinco de Mayo:

-This holiday is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually celebrated on September 16th.

-At midday, there is a re-enactment of the battles where people dress up as French and Mexican soldiers and pretend to fight each other.

-Green, white and red are popular colours to wear to the celebrations because they are the colours of the Mexican flag.

-Non-Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo because, as well as it being a chance to experience and celebrate another culture, it commemorates the last time that the US was under foreign invasion.

-The biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration is the “Festival de Fiesta Broadway,” held in Los Angeles.

-In Chandler, Arizona, Cinco de Mayo in celebrated with Chihuahuas, and lots of them! They have Chihuahua parades, pageants and races. They even crown a king and queen Chihuahua.

Facts about the Spanish Language

-Spanish is spoken throughout most of South and Central America, including Mexico. The interesting thing is that the Spanish spoken in Mexico and the Spanish spoken in Spain don’t sound identical.

-In Spain, the letter “v” is pronounced as “b,” but in Mexico, “v” still sounds like “v”.

- In Spain, “z” makes the “th” sound, but in Mexico it either sounds like an “s” or sometimes an English “z,” depending on where it’s placed in a word.

As they say in Spanish: Feliz Cinco de Mayo!