It’s almost that time of year again. The time for margarita specials, sugar skull decor, and lots and lots of tortilla chips — Cinco de Mayo! But do you know the actual reason for the celebration? Here’s a hint: it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla when Mexico defeated the French Empire. The Mexican force was smaller than the French army, and it was poorly equipped to boot. The victory gave the Mexican army a sorely needed morale boost.
The holiday is actually a lot more popular in the U.S. as a celebration of Mexican-American culture than it is in Mexico. While the day has been celebrated since 1863, it really started to hit its stride in the 1980s when tequila and beer companies added the celebration to their marketing campaigns.
This year, Teatro del Corazón is launching an immersive production in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, with the U.S. Capitol Building playing a prominent role. The production combines the art of storytelling with stellar musical performances by professional musicians from the D.C. area, including opera star and U.S. Army veteran, Jesús Daniel Hernández, “the Walking Tenor,” Mariachi Mensajeros del Sur, and Mariachi Misterio.
Teatro del Corazón hopes to cleanse the nation’s palate of the trauma of Jan 6 with music — the salve that heals all wounds.