10 facts about Cinco de Drinko

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That’s right, it’s the 5th of May again. Break out those sombreros and tequila: It’s Cinco De Mayo party time. But before you party this weekend, take time to learn a few facts about your favorite party holiday. Here are the 10 coolest facts about Cinco de Mayo that you didn’t already know.

10. It is not Mexico’s independence day. Mexico’s independence day is September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated because of victory of the Mexicans over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. It was also the second time that Mexico had been invaded by the French.

9. The first Cinco de Mayo wasn’t celebrated in Mexico. It was actually celebrated in California in 1863. The biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration is also in Los Angeles and is attended by more than 500,000 people.

7. Mexico’s capital, Mexico City, is literally sinking. Some of the city’s buildings are sinking up to 4 to 12 inches a year. The city was once an Aztec capital on an island surrounded by a shallow lake. When the Spanish explorer, Hernan Cortes captured the city he drained the lake. Mexico City now rests on soft land that still sinks.

6. The colors on Mexico’s flag all stand for something. The green in the flag represents hope and independence. The white stands for unity and purity. And last but not least the red stands for religion and the blood of Mexico’s national heroes.

5. There are two types of Tequila: 100 percent agave and mixto. 100 percent agave tequila is distilled entirely from the fermented juice of agave and has no artificial flavors added. The best tequilas are made from 100 percent agave and a quality guarantee for the educated tequila consumer. Or in other words, it’s expensive, but worth the price. Mixto tequila, on the other hand, is a mix of fermented agave juice and up to 49 percent “neutral cane spirit”. Neutral can spirit is fermented sugar cane with the flavor stripped out. Mixing the two is a much cheaper way to make tequila, but the resulting flavor is way less complex. The high amount of sugar found in Mixto tequila is directly related to morning after headaches often associated with tequila. So don’t drink cheap tequila with out expecting a vicious hangover.

4. The original sombreros were used for shade against the intense Mexican sun and looked nothing like the mock sombreros worn today. “Sombra” is the Spanish word for shadow. The literal translation means, “shade maker.” Any hat with a brim is a sombrero in Spanish, while the traditional Mexican sombrero is a “sombrero Mexicana.” The term sombrero has actually spread across the world.  For example, in the Philippines, all hats are called sombreros.

3. Mexico and Luxemburg (Europe) are the only two countries spelled with an X.

2. Mexico has 60 languages. However, only 6 percent of the population can speak any of the indigenous languages. When the Spanish colonizers invaded Mexico they forced the Spanish language to be the official language of Mexico. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Mexico accepted the indigenous languages as official languages for the country. Mexican legal documents can now be written in any of the 60 languages.

1. The piñata wasn’t invented in Mexico. The piñata originally came from China and instead of being filled with candy it was filled with seeds to ensure a good harvest for the upcoming crop season. Once the festivities began, the piñata would be struck until the seeds fell, and once it was empty the seeds would be burnt and the ashes kept which officially ensured good luck.