Today I'm celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
For those of you who have forgotten the history of Cinco de Mayo,
it was the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla.
The U.S. had put Mexico in a difficult position by bankrupting the Mexican government. In 1862, the French landed in Veracruz along with forces
from Queen Isabella II of Spain and Queen Victoria of Great Britain. They had
come to collect the debt owed to them by Mexico, but Mexican President
Benito Juarez proposed paying the debt over two years. Both Spain and Great Britain came to a financial agreement with Juarez, and returned to their respective countries. The French, on the other hand, did not, instead heading for Mexico City.
This was a two pronged attack, in that it was intended to destroy the Mexicans, but also intended to weaken the U.S. forces as they waged their civil war. France believed that since the U.S. had gained so much world power, if it could conquer Mexico, then it could drive forward to help the south win and cause a permanent split in the country.
On May 5, 1862, the French with 6000 troops, headed toward
Puebla, Mexico, about 100 miles from Mexico City. General
Ignacio Zaragoza, a Texas-born Mexican, with
a force of less than 4,000 troops, many of them agricultural workers armed with antiquated
rifles and machetes fought the battle that took place in a muddy, uneven field.
To show his contempt for the Mexicans, Gen. Laurencez, in charge of the French troops, ordered them to
attack through their strongest position, Guadalupe Hill. The
French cavalry went through ditches, over adobe ruins, and toward the slope of
Guadalupe Hill. By then, the cavalry, exhausted and nearly disbanded, failed
to achieve its goal. The Mexican army stood its ground. Gen. Zaragoza, who had
no experience in military tactics but was a veteran in guerrilla warfare, ordered
his troops to go after the French, who fled to Orizaba, where Zaragoza attacked
the French again, forcing them to flee to the coast.
Although later battles with the French were lost, including the Second Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, the Mexicans had a right to feel good. They had defeated a mighty foe and bolstered their pride.
Please don't ask why I chose this tea, because it has NOTHING to do with Mexico. Sungma-Soom Est. is a Darjeeling from India.
I thought this was a smooth, not bitter tea. I noticed a touch of fruit as an aftertaste. I tried to match the "place mat" with Cinco de Mayo, because I thought it looked a bit southwestern. I know my grandmother made it, but it was so different from anything she normally made. She much preferred flowers and frills, and this was neither.
How will you celebrate today? Will you attend a Cinco de Mayo celebration, or are there any in your part of the world? Do you prefer to make art, drink from a glass, cup, or bottle, or just share a tale through words and photos of something drink related. Regardless, join us for T this Tuesday and link below. We'll be by to visit. And don't forget to wish Halle a happy Cinco de Mayo birthday!
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