Truth of Cinco de Mayo – Palm Beach County

Truth of Cinco de Mayo – Palm Beach County

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
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Published in Arts & Culture

Today is Cinco de Mayo and as we head out to our favorite bars in Palm Beach County for Margaritas, one should remember the “real deal” on Cinco de Mayo. After Hernan Cortez and his Spanish army conquered the Holy City of Cholula, Mexico one October day in 1519. The Spanish conquistadors ravaged the Aztec holy city that day. The explorers murdered 10% of the native population and destroyed many of the pyramids that marked the sacred region. But they never found the largest pyramid of the region which was before their very eyes. Over the centuries, interest to carve out an empire of the land spread.

Atop a high hill sits a magnificent church and beneath this church, buried for centuries, lay an ancient secret never discovered by the Spanish.  The secret? The largest pyramid in the world, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, so large it accounts for an astronomical 45 acres (equivalent of more than 34 American football fields)! Combined with the height of 177 feet, the total volume of the world’s largest pyramid is a whopping 166 million cubic feet.  Defeating the ‘Egyptian’ Great Pyramid’s volume of 84 million cubic feet, by a significant margin.  

Just 20 miles away near the city of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, another battle was waged.  This time, led by Napoleon III, French invaders waged war. By some miracle, the vastly outnumbered and out armed Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla. And so today, we in the United States join those in this part of Mexico to celebrate a win over would-be French invaders and troops.

Cinco de Mayo is a day of revelry and fun in the United States and a minor holiday in Mexico.  Perhaps this sheds some light on the heaviness of the day.  It is a commemoration of lives lost and lives saved in both Mexico and the United States by the victory over the French. Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

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