With St. Patrick's Day behind us, it's time for another booze-filled take on a holiday whose cultural significance is lost on most of us. I'm not Mexican (or Irish, for that matter) so I'm including myself here. I've already started brainstorming Cinco de Mayo Instagram captions to pair with staged photos of my margaritas taken in portrait mode and, admittedly, none of them have anything to with the Battle of Puebla. So before I get into those, I thought I'd learn a little about the holiday first.
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican independence. That holiday actually takes place on Sept. 16! Instead, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French Empire when they invaded Mexico City in 1862 — also known as the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican army was much smaller than the French army, making Mexico's unlikely victory historically significant. Today, Cinco de Mayo parades and reenactments of the Battle fill the streets of Mexico on this day each year.
Elsewhere, like in the U.S., many people use this day to celebrate Mexican culture, food, and music and there's no harm in that — as long as you do it respectfully. You and your partner shouldn't pose in sombreros or fake mustaches to get in the spirit, because that's culturally insensitive. But you can try an authentic Mexican restaurant in your neighborhood, make your own margaritas, and listen to your favorite songs by Selena Quintanilla. Snap a photo of your celebrations and pair it with any one of these festive captions on Instagram.
Can we taco 'bout how cute we are?
Who doesn't love a good taco pun?
You're the lime to my tequila.
The two are meant to go together, really.
Roses are red. Violets are blue. What's more fun than tequila for two?
You don't have to wait until Valentine's Day to turn on the romance.
She or he's nacho bae!
This is a nice way of letting your followers know not to slide into your partner's DMs.
Before I met you, I was all, "Tequila!" Now, I'm like, "Te amo!"
I mean, how cute is this?
In queso emergency, return to bae!
You can skip the Chipotle queso, though. It's not that great.
I'm actually in a committed relationship with Jose Cuervo but I don't want to taco 'bout it.
I can keep a secret if you can.
Guac is extra and so are we!
How else do you explain your photo of chips and guac?
Salt Bae but for my margaritas...
Because you love a good meme.
You don't have to go to Mexico to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. You don't even have to leave your house. You can find recipes for home-made tortillas or DIY cocktails online. And if you're hosting a party, you can even create your very own booze-filled piñata to keep things fun and festive.
Chances are, all the college bars will be spilling over with sombrero-wearing, cheap-tequila-chugging party-goers, anyway. I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news but, like, do these guys know there's a global tequila shortage? I'm pretty sure this has something to do with tequila-infused donuts, tequila-infused sundaes, tequila-infused chocolate, tequila-infused gummies... Oh and let's not forget deep-fried tequila!
The versatility of tequila might come as a shock but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Turns out, tequila is actually good for you (in moderation) and not all tequila is guaranteed to give you the worst hangover of your life so there's hope yet. Still, I know there's got to be other ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Nothing against Señor Cuervo or anything.
If you're not Mexican but have Mexican friends, ask them what they usually do on Cinco de Mayo, instead. In as much as you're willing to drink Mexican tequila, you should be willing to learn more about Mexican culture. And what better opportunity to start a conversation than on one of the most historically significant Mexican holidays of the year? Feliz Cinco de Mayo!