I think enough has been written by this point that most... many?... some?... people North of the Border realize that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico's Independence Day. Instead, it is a commemoration of the Mexican victory over the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The day is not even a legal holiday... only in the state of Puebla is it officially observed. However, in Alejandro's Mexico City neighborhood of San Juan de Aragón, the day is celebrated with a reenactment of the battle. For Alejandro and his family, the day is one of noise with the incessant firing of canons, muskets and firecrackers. And it is a day of inconvenience, also, since many of the streets are closed off and the Metrobus is rerouted away from the neighborhood.
I have never been to the reenactment... Alejandro says that there are usually some injuries each year... but I have certainly heard it. The windows rattle from the noise, and the blasts of the canons set off car alarms on the street.
Here is a picture from the internet of the battle...
And HERE is a YouTube video of last year's reenactment.
It wouldn't be so bad if the noise were limited to the few hours that the fake battle is fought. However, the firecrackers begin a couple days ahead and continue all night long. Since Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday this year, I have no doubt that the noise will continue all through the weekend.
In the neighborhood where my apartment is located, the day is no different and than any other, and nary a single canon shot will be heard. I tease Alejandro and tell him that his neighborhood is too "folklórico"
This year, however, Alejandro will get to miss out on some of the noise. He will be coming here to the apartment this evening and will spend the weekend in the peaceful and non-folkloric "colonia" of Nápoles!