Since I'm of Mexican decent, I often get asked by people in my office and friends about the meaning of Cinco de Mayo. So, I thought I'd post something here that really clarified the importance of this day. (Aside from the obvious excuse to eat quacamole and drink margaritas).
So, first thing you need to know is that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico's Independence Day (which is actually September 16th or midnight of the 15th). Rather, it is in celebration of the day, May 5th, 1862, when 4,000 members of the Mexican Militia defeated 8,000 members of the French army in the town of Puebla. (Napoleon wanted to take over and install Maximilian as ruler of Mexico).
Now, the thing to remember here is that there were wars almost constantly going on in Mexico, and one year later, angry at his defeat, Napoleon sent 30,000 troops to Mexico and indeed succeeded in placing Maximilian in power.
But their victory was short lived as well and soon the French were ousted with help from the United States in 1867.
And there's lots more to know, BUT, it really is simply a celebration of the little guy over the big guy, the mom & pop store over the Wallmart, the small poetry press over Random House and the independent bookstore over Barnes & Noble.
And if that's not an excuse to have a drink, well, really what is?
Personally, I also think it's a day to get your mojo back and fight your own personal Goliaths whatever they may be.