Map of Mexico

The Mexican Flag was designed in 1821 when Mexico gained its independence from Spain. The flag has three colored stripes; red, white, and green. The color red represents the blood shed by the Mexican heroes. The green stands for hope and prosperity, and finally the white represents the purity of the Roman Catholic religion. The coat of arms is from an Aztec legend that helped them settle on a specific location, Mexico. Even though the flag goes way back, the religion and heritage is still  practiced today.

Cinco de Mayo means fifth of May, so Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on the 5th of May. It is also called the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. People commemorate Cinco de Mayo because it is the day of the Mexicans unlikely victory against the French army. Both Americans and Mexicans celebrate it. They celebrate it with parades, foods (like enchiladas, chips, and salsa), dancing, and music.

A Quieanera is a Spanish tradition that celebrates a young girls coming of age (her 15 birthday). Some of the mane highlights are family, friends, food, and music. Interestingly enough, many families are joining Hispanic and American heritage and having Sweet 16's that have many of the same traditions. Quineaneras usually begin in a religious ceremony. It is a custom for the girls to get a tiara, a cross or metal, a bible or prayer book, and a scepter.

Dia de los Muertos is an important Mexican holiday that is also known as Day of the Dead. It is a three day celebration that commemorates loved ones that have died. This celebration is observed throughout the world in different cultures. The celebration starts on the 31st of October and ends on the 2nd of November. On these days families and friends will come together and gather marigolds, sugar skulls, and the possessions of the deceased.

In other countries it is considered the 12 days of Christmas but in Mexico it is the 9 days of Postadas. La Posadas is a nine day celebration that reenacts Mary and Joseph's search for shelter. In Mexico, Christmas is a religious holiday, so as a part of the Christmas celebration  they have a traditional fiesta with Mexican Postadas (inns). These are held for family and friends. These days include a reenactment of Mary and Joseph, as well as breaking piƱatas!

Hernando Cortez was born into a poor family in 1485. He was taught in the University of Salamanca. He was a very ambitious student that focused on a military career. However, with the stories of Christopher Columbus and the land across the ocean he became captivated with the idea of traveling to the new world. For the next few years Hernando worked as a minor legal officer before joining Diego Velazquez to conquer Cuba. After conquering Cuba, Velazquez gave Hernando the position of the commander of the expedition to Mexico. He went to the Aztecs as a guest but he kidnapped Montezuma and took control of  Mexico. Without Hernando Mexico might still be ruled by the Aztec.

Moctezuma II was the 9th emperor of the Aztec Empire. In 1517 he first heard of settlers on the coast, then 1519 was when he first met Hernando Cortez. After that he was imprisoned and used. Then he died in a battle against the Spanish. We still, to this day, do not know exactly what killed him.

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