Monday, May 4, 2015

T Stands for Cinco de Mayo

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!


17 thoughtful remarks:

Linda Kunsman said...

Happy Cinco to you Elizabeth! I don't really celebrate this holiday-and won't comment any further-because I am after all French (mostly). I do agree though, that every municipality/country has the perfect right to commemorate a victory/freedom/democracy with a special day of each year. That tea looks really good. Love your card! Happy T day

~*~Patty S said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you too dear E!
That piece your grandmother stitched certainly is lovely.
Your tea sounds interesting.
Hope you have a very nice T Day

Karla B said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo!Lovely tea, my friend!

johanna said...

i wasn´t familiar with this day, so thanks for an interesting history lesson... your stitched place mat Looks so lovely!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo to you too dear Elizabeth!Thank you for the history lesson, never heard about this event!
Your place mat is beautiful!
Hope you feel better dear E!

pearshapedcrafting said...

A really fascinating account of why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated! I knew nothing of this although have seen it mentioned! I love your grandmother's sewing - it does have a Mexican look to it! Hope you are feeling better by now! Hugs, Chrisx

see you there! said...

There are colorful celebrations of Cinco de Mayo in our area. We have attended in the past but have other plans today. Enjoyed your well written history lesson, I knew bits of it but it was great to read it all.

What great needlework your Grandmother did.


pearshapedcrafting said...

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for your kind comments - yes the coffee did taste better I'm sure!! I'd love it you popped back to my blog as I have added a photo of me in the 60's! Mainly for my family to see as they check my blog! Oh! Those were the days!!! Chrisx

Halle said...

Happy cinco de mayo! Love the pink needlework. I'm always so impressed by hand embroidery. Not a skill I ever got any good at. I have no patience.
Happy T day!
And thanks again for the lovely and thoughtful gift!! I really do love it!

Divers and Sundry said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo, and may I wish you a late Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You :)

There was a festival at Overton Park on Saturday that drew a big crowd, but I didn't go. We may eat Mexican food for lunch.

I think your "place mat" is lovely :)

Krisha said...

Happy Cinco De Mayo time for a lot of color and some very good food indeed!

Love the embroidery. A talent that seems to have fallen away, but I am planning on teaching it to my GD this summer.

Happy T-day

Divers and Sundry said...

I'm still getting a virus/malware warning from Bitdefender at Krisha's Keepsakes. I wish I could figure out what I need to do to make that go away :( I must have a bad setting or something, but I can't figure out what.

Ariel said...

I don't know much about this day either. Thank you for sharing the history here. Your grandmother's handmade placemat looks beautiful.
Have a lovely week

Hettie said...

Helloooooooooo! Finally made it here on a Tuesday!!!
Typical French!!
Hugs to you and the boys.

Anonymous said...

Nice to have a bit of your grandmother there with you for tea. Love that cloth. xox

Rita said...

I knew nothing about the history of the day, so thanks. I'm obviously a day late getting around. Didn't get home from Dagan and Leah's till 8pm and am totally wiped out, but hopeful. Loved the apartment and should know before the end of the month if I get it. :)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

My did I get so far behind?! Here it is almost time for T again. I hope you will forgive my lapses and popping in and out.

The mat your Grandmother made is beautiful..southwestern is my style!