Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Merry Month of May

The month of May in Mexico is full of holidays, although only one of them is a legal observance.

Before May even begins, April 30th is "Children's Day".  Alejandro's nephew had to go to school, but they had a big party all morning, and students were dismissed early.  

May 1st is Labor Day, and it is recognized as a legal holiday.  The day is often marked by marches and demonstrations by worker's unions and peasant organizations.  This year there were tens of thousands of demonstrators on the Zócalo and along the Paseo de la Reforma demanding an increase in the minimum wage. (The current minimum wage is 102 pesos per day... about $5 US.)

May 5th... Cinco de Mayo... commemorates the Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  It is a legal holiday only in the state of Puebla.  For some reason in the Mexico City neighborhood of San Juan de Aragón near Alejandro's house, the day is celebrated with a reenactment of the battle.  No, I will not be going to see the reenactment.  According to Alejandro, it's a rather drunken mess, and someone usually ends up getting shot.  In fact, he will be coming to spend the night before at my apartment for some peace and quiet.  All night long there is the constant racket of firecrackers and rifle shots.

Unlike the United States, where Mothers' Day is on a Sunday, in Mexico it is always observed on May 10th.  Family is of great importance in Mexico, and no one is more important than mother.  As in the U.S., mothers receive flowers or gifts, and restaurants are very crowded.

Finally, May 15th is Teachers' Day.  Although it is not a legal holiday, schools are usually closed that day.  

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