Mexican fiesta parties are reflections of a time-honoured Mexican tradition, the fiesta. Lively, colourful and filled with entertainment and delicious foods, Mexican fiesta parties are popular in Mexico and in the United States. The Mexican fiesta can be thrown to celebrate traditional Mexican holidays or as a theme for a variety of special occasions.
In Mexico, there are a myriad of reasons that Mexican fiesta parties may take place, but these fiestas are part of the country's long history of events. Mexican fiestas celebrate such events as Aniversario de la Constitución (the anniversary of the Constitution), Natalicio de Benito Juárez (President Benito Juarez's birthday), Aniversario de la Revolución (the Mexican Revolution of 1910) and many other significant events in Mexico's history. People of all descents in Mexico and the United States throw Mexican fiesta parties to mark other special occasions as well. The residents of the United States typically celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican fiesta and the fiesta theme is woven into numerous parties, such as birthdays, costume parties and more, as a theme for the celebration.
Mexican culture is mixed into American society, especially in specific regions of the country (California and Texas) where there are a high concentration of Mexican-Americans living. Whether commemorating a holiday, celebrating a rite of passage such as Quince Ano (a girl's 15th birthday) or simply a summer bash, Mexican fiesta parties are festive ways to experience the Mexican culture. For natives of Mexico, Mexican fiesta parties bring a sense of home and culture to a day or evening of great food and music with friends and family.
There is no limit to the reasons for throwing a Mexican fiesta. A backyard barbecue can be a perfect excuse to do it up, fiesta-style. Any birthday--but especially important birthdays, such as 13 for a young man or 15 for a girl--often warrant all the trimmings of a Mexican fiesta party. Families and friends celebrate family reunions, baptisms, weddings and holidays (Mexican or American) with fiestas. Cities that are closer to the Mexican border often recognise Cinco de Mayo with parades and outdoor fiestas for the whole town. If it is an event to celebrate, a fiesta makes it all the more special and memorable.
Mexican fiestas are characterised by brightly coloured decorations, and endless buffets of Mexican and Mexican-American foods. Often, mariachis play into the late hours of the night under multicoloured lanterns. Tables are decorated with tablecloths and lanterns in traditional bright Mexican colours or may be covered in Mexican ponchos or blankets. Strings of tissue paper flowers hang overhead. People eat, drink and dance as the three focal points of a fiesta. A fiesta menu might include freshly made salsa with warm tortilla strips and guacamole. Margaritas and beer such as Dos Equis (XX) is typically served. Steaming trays of tamales and enchiladas, perhaps some menudo and Mexican candy (pralines) are also served to the fiesta guests.
With Mexico's close proximity to certain regions of the United States and the large influx of Mexican-Americans living and working in the United States, Mexican fiestas are a blending of the two cultures. Over the years, many Mexican business people have held commercial interests in the United States and vice versa. With the United States often called the great "melting pot," it is no wonder that the residents of the U.S. embrace a dynamic aspect of the Mexican people who call America home--the Mexican fiesta.
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