Shawn
Community Tutor
Cinco de Mayo in the United States

Today is a holiday in the United States. We call it "Cinco De Mayo" which is "the 5th of May" in Spanish. Yes, we actually refer to the holiday using Spanish instead of English. This is probably the only time most Americans break into the Spanish language when speaking actually. Although, when you wish someone a happy day on this holiday, the greeting is in both English and Spanish. That is, we say "Happy Cinco de Mayo". Note that we say "Happy" here which is English. Hehehehe. I give non-Spanish speaking Americans props for remembering the Spanish words "Cinco De Mayo". Let's not push it by expecting them to say "happy" in Spanish as well. Hehehehe. Anyhow, the holiday is also observed in Mexico where it is called "El Día de la Batalla de Puebla". Its English translation is "The Day of the Battle of Puebla". Unfortunately, we do not get any time off from work for this holiday. Corporate America... Figures.

 

The holiday originated with Mexican-American communities in the western part of the United States as a day to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the American Civil War. Today, it is also observed as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride in the United States. A lot of people, not just people of Mexican heritage, jump on the opportunity to celebrate this day though, much like most Americans jump on the opportunity to drink and celebrate on St. Patrick's Day even if they have no Irish heritage at all. College students especially enjoy this holiday and go out to bars or to restaurants like Chilis or Applebees for drinks, usually getting margaritas. In my opinion, it is very popular with everyone, or at least it is here in Massachusetts. Perhaps I would experience something else if I were living in a southern state. I'm not sure, but if you are living in or visiting Massachusetts, today all the restaurants and bars will be filled with celebration.

 

I love having holidays like this. I wish we had more in the United States for other ethnic backgrounds too. That way, for at least one day, you get to experience or look into another ethnic background's culture and possibly even get to speak to someone of that heritage in a language other than English, supposing they weren't just born here and only know English. Hehehehe. Let's use the day as an excuse to practice our language skills! :)

 

A photo of a typical drink people get on Cinco De Mayo:

 

http://sidedish.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/LVP-Jalepeno-Margarita1.jpg

 

Some Vocabulary Used in This Discussion

 

1. to break into (something) = to suddenly switch over to doing or using something (approximately) -- break into the Spanish language = suddenly start speaking in the Spanish language

 

2. props = slang for credit (informal)

 

3. to jump on the opportunity = to accept an opportunity eagerly. By the way, in British English, this word is "to jump at the opportunity". We use the preposition "on" in America here instead.

May 5, 2014 2:24 PM
Comments · 25

Thanks for the info.. How I wish we also celebrate cinco de mayo here in my country lol.. I dont want to go to university and work today u.u 

May 5, 2014

You're welcome, Comandante. :)

May 5, 2014

¡Feliz cinco de mayo! Me gusta celebrar el cinco de mayo porque los mexicanos derrotaron a los franceses en Puebla ese día en 1862. Me gustaría beber tequila hoy. ¡Viva México!

May 5, 2014

We have The Independence Day today. Threre are going to be a lot of fireworks throughout the country in the evening.

May 5, 2014

Cool. Is everyone around the world having a holiday today? hehehehe

May 5, 2014
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