Although not a state celebration, we always recognize Cinco de Mayo at our house. I am including a short blog post about it simply as an opportunity to point out that it is not Mexico's Independence Day (which falls on September 16) but rather the commemoration of the battle of Puebla in which the French Army was defeated. I am not sure how this regional Mexican holiday has made its way to be cause for celebration in the U.S., except that it gives people an excuse to drink Corona and Dos XX. We celebrated with a variation on the traditional Margarita, the Paloma, which we learned about from the Boston Globe magazine on Sunday. Paloma is our daughter's name, so we really had no choice but to prepare the concoction of tequila and grapefruit soda.
We didn't watch any Mexican movies or read any books about Mexico, but for both I would recommend Like Water for Chocolate (Como aqua para chocolate). The book is written by Laura Esquivel, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie. It is a beautiful, passionate love story with a lot of magic realism.