Families with strong Mexican-American and Latino roots, as well as anyone eager to learn about Mexican-American culture and history, are welcome to attend the next Family Day organized by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, dedicated to the true origin the celebration of Cinco de Mayo festivities in California.
“Cinco de Mayo is important to California because it was invented here,” says Dr. Hayes-Bautista, author of the book El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition. “It provides a collective identity for all Latinos, whether they were born here in California or immigrated from Mexico, Central America, or South America. It binds them together in an identity,” he adds.
Attendees to this Family Day will enjoy the musical play, El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition, based on the book written by Dr. Hayes-Bautista, director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC). The play details the history behind the holiday, which originated during Civil War. The musical and theatrical performance features actors and singers dressed in period clothing.
Narrated by Dr. Hayes-Bautista, the production features Ballet Folklórico Flor de Mayo, a diverse group representing Southern California aiming to educate the world about the richness of Mexican culture through dance and music, and Mariachi de Uclatlán, the earliest collegiate mariachi ensemble established in the world, dedicated to the performance and preservation of traditional Mexican music, culture, and heritage.
Attendees will also enjoy the display titled “The Juntas de Señoras,” part of LA Plaza’s LA Starts Here! permanent exhibition, as well as music, dance, and art, and the the following culinary and garden demonstrations.
LA Troka: Create your own Rain Stick – Did you know that on May 5, 1862, during the Battle of Puebla, heavy rains hit Mexican and French soldiers on the battlefield? May is the start of the rainy season in Puebla, Mexico. Learn about Aztec and Maya rain gods that were honored and sought, especially during times of drought. Create your own rain stick that mimics the sound of a rainstorm.
Culinary Arts: Sensory Exploration: Spices in la Cocina Mexicana – ¡Amarillo, verde, y rojo! Moles come in different colors and flavors! They also differ by region. Learn about Puebla’s signature mole dish while exploring the immense flavors and aromas of spices in Mexican cuisine. Participate in a guided multi-sensory exploration of ingredients used in Puebla’s traditional mole recipe.
Edible Teaching Garden: Cactus Planting – OUCH! Watch out for the espinas (spines)! Did you know the prickly pear cactus is native to Mexico and is important to Mexican history? Today it is planted, grown, and consumed throughout the world. Learn how a part of a cactus can be used to grow an entirely new cactus plant! Follow along to this step-by-step demonstration and learn how to grow your own cactus!
Food and beverages will be available for sale. Entrance to the event is free.