May 5th: Cinco de Mayo and Boys Day

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May 5th hold special significance to people in Hawaii, mainly because of the dual nature of the day.  First off it’s traditionally Cinco de Mayo, which is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day.  Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16th.  May 5th actually represents the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  It is because of this unlikely victory that the day is celebrated.  While not an “mandatory” Mexican holiday, it is voluntarily celebrated in Puebla, the United States, and various parts o the world as a day of Mexican pride and heritage.

Also going down on May 5th is Children’s Day aka Boys Day.  This day is usually celebrated in Japan as part of Golden Week.  This day features carp being flown all over the place because of the Japanese legend that carp swim upstream to become dragons.  This legend manifests itself into the flags being flown for each boy in the family.  This is used to wish health and long life to the boys in that family.  Up until recently, this day was designated as Boys Day.  it has since been renamed to Children’s Day, now used to celebrate the happiness of children throughout the country.

Because of the very strong Japanese population in Hawaii, the tradition carries over here as well.

So, enjoi the two events and celebrate with your favorite people today.