Mexican Research Project
by: Eubin Shim
Mexican Statistics Chart:
GDP (per capita)- $15,600
Life Expectancy- men~ 72.67 women~ 78.32
Literacy Rate- 93.5%
Government- federal republic
Economy- Free Market Economy
Population- 120, 286, 655
Religion- R. Catholic~ 82.7% Pentecostal- 1.6% Jehovah's Witnesses~ 1.4%
Mexico first celebrated their country's most recent flag on Feburary 24, 1937, then the flag was officially adopted in 1968, but the design was originally used in 1821 when Mexico won its independence from Spain.The Mexican flag has 3 colored stripes, which are green, then white, then red. The green stripe stands for hope and posterity, the white stripe stands for the purity of the Roman Catholic religion, and the red stripe stands for the blood shed by Mexican heroes. The eagle and snake symbol originates from the Aztec legend that told them to settle in the land where they saw a Mexican eagle sitting on a prickly pear cactus grasping a snake in its talons which is now Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo:
Cinco de Mayo literally means "the Fifth of May" and the Mexicans celebrate it on May 5th, but they first celebrated it on May 5, 1862. Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo to celebrate the defeat of the French army during the Battle of Peubla (which was on May 5, 1862 and lasted less than 4 hours). All Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, even students have a day off from school. Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. Most Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place in the town of Puebla (where the battle took place). In the celebrations there are large parades with people dressed up as Mexican and French soldiers, people sell traditional Mexican foods, they also sell patriotic clothing and accessories, there are also reenactments of the Mexicans victory over the French troops.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead):
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated from October 31- November 2. Dia de los Muertos is a day to celebrate, remember, and prepare special foods in honor of those who have passed. Families celebrate this day and make altars and make offerings of food, candles, incense, yellow marigolds, and the most important is a photo of the departed soul. Many other countries celebrate Dia de los Muertos or similar versions of it like Central and South America, Europe, and Asia. Dia de los Muertos is also celebrated in places with high Mexican immigrant population including California, Texas, Arizona, and other parts of the United States. People celebrate Dia de los Muertos by setting up an altar with offerings, cleaning and decorating graves, holding a whole night graveside vigil, telling stories about the passed, and baking or purchasing or exchanging sugar skulls and other sweet treats.
Los Posadas is celebrated from December 16th until the night of December 24th. Las Posadas is celebrated to remember the pilgrimage by Joseph and Mary who were looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Mexicans celebrate las Posadas every December, and the United States also celebrates something like Las Posadas otherwise known as Christmas. People celebrate Las Posadas by going to differnet houses around their neighborhoods each night. A procession is made by two people who hold the statues of Mary, Joseph, and an angel. They are also accompanied by a donkey. People also carry candles, sing prayers, and they stand by the door of a house and ask for lodging. The people who are already inside sing songs rejecting people's entry until they see that it is Joseph and Mary asking for lodging. Near the end of the celebration, the doors are all opened and the people outside are let in. People also serve punch, food, and and some goodies. Finally at the very end, the kids get to break a piñata.
Quinceaneras are celebrated on the day when a girl turns 15. Quinceaneras are celebrated to mark the passage to a girl's womanhood, to give thanks for God's blessings, and to present a new and young woman to the community. In Mexican communities, Quinceaneras gives honor to not only the young woman, but also the young woman's parents, godparents, and other family members. Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay also celebrate Quinceaneras or something like it. Mexicans celebrate Quinceaneras by beginning it with a mass to give thanks for a completed childhood. Then the girl who is celebrating her birthday is seated at the foot of a church altar and the mass combines a solemn ceremony welcoming the new woman to her new life and challenges ahead as an adult. After the mass, the new woman leaves her bouquet to the Virgen de Guadalupe (Mexico's patron saint and a central nationalist and religious symbol). Then her sisters, cousins, and friends hand out bolos (special gifts for remembrance) to the guests at the church. Finally after that, people take pictures then it's time to party!
Hernandez Cortes was a Spanish Conquistdaor who led an expedition that caused the falling of the Aztec Wmpire and a man who brought large portions of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. He was also a part of the generation of the Spanish colonizer a who began the first part of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Hernandez Cortes is important to Mexican history because he was the one who conquered the Aztecs on August 13, 1521 and he was also the one who made a colony of people from Spain out of Mexico for the following 300 years.
Montezuma ll was the emperor of the Aztec people and he was the emperor when Hernando Cotes arrived. On November 8, 1519 Cortes and Montezuma ll met, and over the next few months Montezuma was imprisoned and used by the Spanish as the conquest continued. Montezuma died in 1520 during a battle with the Spanish. Montezuma is important because he was one of the most important people in the most important event in the Aztec's history. Some people even say that he is important because he welcomed the Spanish and he did not resist, but we may never know why Montezuma is really important.