Here are a few dos and don’ts for celebrating Cinco de Mayo

The holiday is celebrated more in the U.S. than south of the border.

By Kristen CabreraMay 3, 2024 1:18 pm,

Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day – that’s in September. The holiday coming up on Sunday is the celebration of Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla against the French in the mid-1800s.

But really, it isn’t actually a national Mexican holiday. It’s more so celebrated in the U.S. than across the border, and that is due in large part to FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy. Nearly a century ago, the policy hoped to strike better relations with Latin American countries.

Tacos of Texas podcast host Mando Rayo joined the Standard to give us a few do’s and don’ts of celebrating Cinco de Mayo responsibly. Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below.

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity:

Texas Standard: So what is the first “don’t” that you have for us?

Mando Rayo: So how about this? Don’t put on those stereotypes – fake mustache and sombreros, and then post them on your socials. Trust me, you’re going to regret it.

Yeah. So what, instead? How to decorate, what to wear if you want to get festive?

Oh, sure. I mean, wear whatever you wear on a normal day. You don’t really have to dress up.

But what I would say is do take your lady friend or your partner on long walks to your favorite taqueria. And I would say like, you know, Taconazo in Houston or Ultimo Taco in Brownsville. Trust me, it’s going to be a great date night.

Love it. Avoid the stereotypes – first “don’t.” What about the next “don’t” on your list?

Don’t put peas in your guacamole. The New York Times already did it and people always try to Americanize those Mexican recipes. So I would say stay away from that.

But do drink some good quality tequila or mezcal. Make sure you tip your mariachis and enjoy some ballet folklórico.

I mean, what is even the purpose of peas? It’s not going to make it taste better. Are they trying to make it healthier? Avocados are geat. They just think “that’s green, no one will notice.” We will notice. Don’t put peas in there.

Okay. What is the final “don’t” we should know?

Yes. Don’t show up drunk shaking maracas and get all Karen on everybody. Especially when you don’t get what you want, you don’t get your way or you want an extra margarita. Leave that to the professional Karens. Come on, people.

All right, so the second “do” was enjoy some tequila. But there’s a caveat to that, which is do it responsibly, yes? 

Exactly, exactly.

And I’m going to say this is my final “do,” which is you know what? Not all heroes wear capes, but they do wear aprons. So do go support your local taqueria, your local taquero and taquera, your waiters, your bartenders and cleaning staff. And, you know, give them a very hefty tip.

I love that. So do you expect these places to be busier on Cinco de Mayo? I mean that tends to be where Texans go out in this.

Even though it’s not celebrated… I mean, it’s more like this American celebration, if you will, for maybe consuming lots of margaritas and chips and salsa. So I think that we are going to see a lot of heavy rotation in Mexican and Tex-Mex places.

You know, just take it easy, enjoy it, and be plentiful with your pockets.

I love that. Okay, I got to ask a bonus question here, because we usually talk tacos. We don’t talk as much about what you drink alongside them. What’s your favorite go-to? Is it a margarita? Is it a Corona? 

You know, for me, with tacos, I usually go with usually a beer, like a Modelo. Or tequila. But then maybe, to last through the night, I sip on a nice mezcal.

But all responsibly, of course.


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