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How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Stay Safe

May 5, 2016, marks the 154th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo. It’s become known as another holiday to enjoy with a margarita or cervezas (beer), but what is the actual history of this day?

History of Cinco de Mayo

This holiday celebrates the triumph of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. According to Raul Ramos, Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston, “The significance of Cinco de Mayo is that it represents Mexican resistance to foreign intervention, it is a moment where Mexico as a young nation rallied to defend itself. The Battle of Puebla helped the country coalesce around the idea of a unified Mexican identity.”

This victory also occurred over 50 years after Mexico’s Independence Day, which is regularly celebrated on September 16.

Over time, the holiday has become a metaphor for Mexican-American assimilation. While the first American Cinco de Mayo celebrations date back to the 1860s, it was only in the 1980s and ’90s that the holiday was regularly celebrated in the USA, and then in Canada. At this time, corporations (particularly the alcohol and restaurant industries) began using Cinco de Mayo as a way to reach Hispanic customers and sell products like tequila and beer.

Similar to other alcohol-based “holidays” like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo has largely become known as another day to guzzle as many Coronas as you can find, and less about the Battle of Puebla that inspired it. So when you’re enjoying a drink with friends on May 5, you can impress them with your knowledge on the subject.

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas

Taco Party: Create a “make your own taco” bar for guests, with all of the toppings you can find. Use fillings like ground beef, chicken, shrimp, fish, and offer toppings like cheese, every vegetable you can find, sour cream, salsa, and of course, guacamole. You can even try dessert tacos, and offer different kinds of pie crusts or waffles, plus candy and syrups for those with a sweet tooth.

Margarita Madness: The same idea as the tacos, but with margarita flavours! You can serve frozen or regular margaritas, and in as many different flavours as you can imagine.

Costume Party: Encourage your guests to dress in traditional Mexican garb, like sombreros and boots, or in red, green, and white, the colours of the Mexican flag.

How to Stay Safe While Celebrating

As with any other event that involves copious amounts of alcohol, there are several ways to keep you and your guests safe at your party.

·         Make sure your guests have a safe way to get home. Encourage guests to spend the night, or           ensure you have soft drinks on hand for the designated drivers.
·         Make your event invitation only, so you know everyone attending.
·         Clean as you go, which will encourage guests to do the same.
·         Lock up your valuables.
·         Check that your first aid kit and fire extinguisher are close at hand.
·         Keep children away from the alcohol, or eliminate it entirely if there will be a lot of minors attending.

As with any event that’s held in your home, make sure you and your guests are safe while you have a great time. Homeowners are liable for any harm that comes to party guests while on their property. Contact me to learn more about home insurance and how to protect yourself.

Posted: 5/5/2016 1:50:17 PM by Marianne Cipollone | with 0 comments
Filed under: Cinco, de, Home, Insurance, Mayo, Party, Tips

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