A Mystic Tale about Cinco de Mayo

cinco de mayo

Thousands of years ago the great Mayan civilization built a pyramid named El Castillo (the castle, Temple of Kukulkan) to represent the folkloric legend of Snake Mountain, the place they believed all humanity came from.

El Castillo is nine stories tall, with a three-room temple on top and a stairway climbing each of the four sides. The Mayans were known as great mathematicians and astronomers and calculated each step and design of the building to represent everything they believed of their origins.

An amazing thing happens at the castle every year on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes: On the rising and setting of the sun, the corner of the structure casts a shadow shaped like a serpent. With the sun’s movement, the shadow slithers down the side of the pyramid.

temple-of-kukulcanGreat miracles happen when the shadow of the snake appears, giving the people of the land great power.

It is said that during the spring day of May 5th 1862 that the serpent of the great Castillo was seen making its descent.

A miracle happened on that day. A battle between the great French Army of 8000 marched to a small town of Puebla—a town in east-central Mexico.

A group of rag-tag farmers with sticks, stones and few rifles, led by priests and a Mexican-American general by the name of Zaragoza miraculously brought down a well-trained, well-armed army.

The victory cry of this battle signified a turning point in Mexico’s Independence from foreign rule. No one in history could believe these poor farmers, many who were descendants of the fantastic Mayan culture, would be able to fight the most magnificent Army of those times, who had state of the art weapons.

It is said the Mexicans fought a guerilla battle, hiding in the mountains, strategically using their weapons to defeat them. It is said it rained horribly that day and that the French were stuck in the mud with their horses. It is said the courage of the fighters, and courage alone brought the French to their knees.

However many believe that the spirit of the great Mayan culture was in the heart of every indigenous Mexican there. That as the serpent slowly came down the temple that day, several hundreds of miles away from the battle, the people found their power again.

They rose up with every fiber of their being evoking what was once a great people. On that day they didn’t fight as Mexicans but as the insurmountable Mayans who had finally risen up after centuries of dormancy to take back what was theirs.

Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated throughout the Americas as the symbol of freedom from European rule in North America, but it’s also a celebration of spirit. People enjoy the fiestas, the food, the drink and even the romance that Cinco de Mayo brings.

It’s a great day to celebrate because rarely do we get a chance to celebrate the sheer beauty of the human spirit and what it can achieve. The ancient Mayans would be pleased.

Happy Cinco de Mayo on May 5th 2014!


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