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Mexican History and Celebrations

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated all over the United States, especially in regions with a high population of Mexican-Americans...but only in some parts of Mexico it is celebrated. Why is that? In 1862 a Mexican army of 2,000 soldiers held their ground and defeated 6,000 French soldiers commanded by Napoleon during the Second Franco-Mexican war. With such odds, the Battle of Puebla was won by the Mexican army and became known as Cinco De Mayo to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. Of course, it started off with celebrations in the Mexican city of Puebla and only continued to grow with Californian activists (Chicanos) during the civil rights movement. They used Cinco De Mayo to educate and shed light on the contributions of Mexican-Americans, and some years later beer, wine and tequila companies would begin marketing campaigns which would greatly increase the popularity it has today. Many believe it is Mexico's Independence day but in reality it is celebrated on September 16th where many celebrations take place, more than Cinco De Mayo which continues to be just ceremonial. 

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Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Dia de Los Muertos or as many know it, Day of the Dead, is a widely celebrated holiday in the Mexican community. Although it may seem like it is a Mexican Halloween, considering the many similarities like dressing up, offerings, and parades, it is quite different. In Mexico, ofrendas (altars), are placed in ones home in the middle of the month of October and are decorated with bright marigolds as well as offerings. Families will place a picture of their loved ones who have passed and offer things they enjoyed when they were alive, like food, drinks, and candy. It is believed ofrendas are used as passage ways for the dead to come and enjoy them throughout October. Once November 1st and 2nd come by, families will visit their loved ones graves and celebrate with them all night enjoying and spending time with them as if they were there. We were blessed enough to experience a Dia de Los Muertos where we visited my late Grandma. The ceremony began at 8pm and ended the next morning at 8am. Throughout the night, we had a mariachi band play her favorite songs, drank her favorite beers, and shared stories with her as if she was right there at her tomb. Of course we cried, laughed, danced and sang (drunk) but I think thats what made it beautiful. It was an unforgettable experience. Celebrations are different and may vary, but the sentiment is the same all around. 


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Mexican Food 


Mole goes way, way back to the times of the Aztecs where they used this sauce for rituals and other festivities. The most important ingredient of the mole is cocoa which is what makes it so popular and treasured. Before it was called Mole, it was known as Mulli, which means "sauce" or "mix" in Aztec. To this day, it is widely used in all parts of Mexico but you will soon find out that it does not have the same taste wherever you go. Mole is versatile as it can be made into a Mole Verde (green), Mole Rojo (red), Mole Negro (black) and even with almonds. Mole is a very complex sauce as it uses a variety of different chiles, spices, and cocoa. 



Chicatanas, one of the most popular ants in Mexico because of how delectable and edible they are, but they were not always seen as that. Originally known as a poor mans food and primarily consumed in home-cooked preparations, it is now a rare and sought after ant that many Mexicans take pride in eating. Like the mole, there is many ways to prepare and eat the Chicatanas, as well as make a salsa with it! What makes the Chicatanas so rare is the fact they only come out in in the first major rains of late spring and early summer. To top it off, they are usually harvested during the night and by hand with only a collection period of a couple days.

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