Five Surprising Facts About Cinco De Mayo

(Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

(Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

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We’re sure you’re already beginning to dust off that blender for the margaritas that are to come on Cinco de Mayo but didn’t you know margaritas weren’t even a staple for the day until nearly 60 years later?

So before you pop open that bottle of tequila, check out these five surprising facts about the Mexican holiday and American excuse to drink.

1.  It’s Not A Big Mexican Holiday – While it is a Mexican holiday, Mexico doesn’t really even celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Of course the capital city of Mexico City has a celebration, as well as the city of Puebla where the foundation of the holiday began but the rest of the country consider it just another day in the calendar.

2.  Cinco De Mayo Is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day – It’s easy to assume that it’s a massive celebration in Mexico, especially since the U.S. has taken the reigns on making the holiday an over the top drinking party, but the day actually stands for the Battle of Puebla.  Yes, the day is a big step in the move to independence for Mexican freedom, their equivalent for Fourth of July is actually celebrated on September 16.

3.  Short War – While some battles last weeks, months or years… the Battle of Puebla lasted for approximately four hours.  That’s about the same amount of time it takes for a girl to get ready to go out for Cinco de Mayo.

4.  Viva La Margarita – Margaritas are a staple among many celebrations for Cinco de Mayo but unfortunately there were about 60 years after the Battle of Puebla that had no idea what margaritas were.  There’s no official date to when the first margarita was introduced, the most popular story dates back to 1938 when a Tijuana-area restaurant owner named  Carlos “Danny” Herrera developed a new drink idea for a fussy client, aspiring actress Marjorie King.  The story says she was allergic to all hard liquor except tequila but she refused to drink it straight.  So combining tequila, salt and lime, he made a refreshing drink instead of a biting shot.

5. Won The Fight, Not The War – Though Mexico won the Battle of Puebla using their 4,000 soldiers against France’s 8,000, it wasn’t long after that France deployed 30,000 more soldiers to Mexico in a fit of rage and overtook Mexico City and Puebla.  But of course, Mexico wouldn’t want to celebrate that day!

- Jodi Phillips / The New 103.7

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