Why do Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

From your link:

I grew up in a Polish-American community, and I Never heard of this before.
Believe me, if we had an excuse to shoot girls with squirt guns, we would have.

According to Wikipedia, it’s more of a Ukrainian thing. In the US, it’s apparently big in the Buffalo NY area. I can attest that it cxertainly wasn’t where I grew up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śmigus-Dyngus

I’ll bet the Kennedys never celebrated Dyngus Day in Massachusetts.

Yep. http://www.dyngusday.com/

I guess you probably needed to have grown up around Buffalo to know about it.

Cinco de Mayo, St. Paddy’s day, Valentine’s day, the Kentucky Derby, Secretaries day, Talk-Like-A-Pirate day, are all a good excuses to Par-Tay. The only real difference is the kind of liquor that’s served.

Exactly right. In the US, Cinco de Mayo is mainly a “drinking holiday,” in the same league as St. Patrick’s day.

I think this varies by region. In California, I recall more family-oriented events. I would guess that it becomes more drinking oriented areas with less Mexican-American influence.

I am an ethnic Ukrainian and married to a Ukrainian national. I have never heard of this.

I get to eat, drink (at least when I’m not pregnant), and even imagine that I might be pissing off some racists. I’m not seeing anything here not to like, so far.

A lot of cultures have a holiday around now. There’s May Day in a number of European cultures, and Lag B’Omer in Judaism. The weather’s generally getting nice. But we haven’t really had a holiday between Easter and Memorial Day in the US. Maybe Cinco de Mayo fits this need.

Carpathian here, and nope.

Note that Cinco de Mayo is such a issue in CA cities liek San Jose that there were massive police problems, and pretty much for years Downtown was under police lockdown for days every year.

Yep. The place I’m going tonight is guaranteed to have 8 - 10 Mexican Americans present; all are employees of the place.

Don’t forget OktoberFest!

And Scotchtoberfest.

Last year we celebrated St Practice Day one month prior to St Patrick’s Day.

It’s all good.

You eat Irish folks on St Paddy’s Day in Toronto? :eek:

I’m Polish-American, too, and my folks (Polish-born and raised) both are familiar with dyngus. It’s not really observed as much here in Chicago (though it exists, here is the Facebook page for it) …not sure why it took hold in Buffalo in particular. Hungary also has a similar tradition for Easter Monday.

Just Google image search “lany poniedziałek” (another name for it), and you’ll see plenty of photos from Poland observing this day.

There’s a strong theory that, had they won on 5 May 1862, the French would have went on to support the Confederate Army and effectively changed the outcome of the war. So Cinco de Mayo has that going for it as well.

Growing up in SoCal in the early 1960s Cinco de Mayo was already an all-family holiday bigger than St. Patricks. There’s be cultural heritage days for the Mexicans held in the city parks and all the Gringo families would go & see the costumes and a few years later, the low-riders. And of course by then Mexican food was pretty mainstream restaurant fare for Gringos, although few cooked it at home.

I left SoCal in the early 80s for the Midwest, where they were just barely starting to hear of both Mexican food and Cinco de Mayo as Corona’s beer advertising blitz was just reaching them. Oklahoma thought then (and probably still thinks now) of Taco Bell as the genuine article.

Although I think the mystery isn’t “why do Americans celebrate a Mexican holiday?” it’s why did they pick Cinco de Mayo (which as I understand it is a pretty minor holiday in Mexico) instead of, say, Mexican Independence Day?

It’s also National Cartoonists Day. Or, as I like to call it, ***Inko ***de Mayo.

At the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the last of the war, the French supplied the Confederates with intelligence and a few artillerymen.

They dont. Only illegals do from what ive heard. Why celebrate Cinco De Mayo when our history with Mexico has been anything but friendly or amicable?