Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo... a holiday that commemorates a little-known battle, that is significant to a small region in southern Mexico. I think. Cinco de Mayo has become a fun time for Americans to go out and drink Margaritas or tequila shots, although it isn't a "real" holiday for most of our Mexican compatriots.
I liken it to St. Patrick's Day. A holiday that is ostensibly Irish, but really is a much bigger deal in the States than in Ireland. A chance for Americans to go out and drink Irish beer or whiskey.
When we mentioned to a Russian friend that we were looking for Mexican places in Beijing that might have Cinco de Mayo specials, her first question was "what's Five May?" and when we explained as I just did here, her next question was "So do you have any fake Russian holidays?"
Well, no, not that I know of.
Then again, it was what, like 150-200 years after the Spanish-American war before we started doing Cinco de Mayo on a grand scale? And right up to the 90s Americans were told to hate and distrust the Russians. So if we consider the Cold War as a marker, we still have about 100-150 years to build cross-cultural ties with Russia before conscripting one of their holidays!
I would like to find one now, and start using a Russian holiday as a chance to celebrate by drinking vodka shooters and Black or White Russians! Let's get on this.
What cross-cultural holidays am I forgetting?
Chinese New Year is more about fireworks than booze. Maybe.
Mardi Gras - a French holiday to load up on sugar, fat, and liquor.