May 5, 2012

El Burro

Cinco de Mayo, a traditional Mexican-American celebration, is being celebrated today.  According to the internets, it is not the celebration of the Mexican Independence day (which is apparently September 16th).  What is Cinco de Mayo then?  I have done some personal research and I can say from experience that Cinco de Mayo centers around the scrifice of the painted burro.

The burro is tied to a rope which is thrown over a tree and hauled high into the air, making it difficult for the creature to escape its fate.

The burro is swung upon its rope to disorient the creature while a group of people surround the burro.

The people are blindfolded one by one, reminiscent of the executioners of old, and given a stick to beat the burro with.

If the rope doesn't hold the burro, it must be restrung and the ritual begins again.

But even so, sometimes the burro wins.

Another person will come and take the place of the burro beater.  They too will be blindfolded, the burro will be swung, and they will take a wack at it with their stick.

Trophies are made out of the pieces of burro they manage to dislodge.

The innards of the burro will be consumed or given to children to play with.

The ritual of the burro sacrifice is a time honored tradition of Cinco de Mayo.  It must occur year after year in order to secure a favorable harvest in the coming fall.  I highly recommend everyone go out into the world and purchase the sacrifical burro today so that we might have a bountiful harvest this year.  Also it's fun to beat things with sticks!

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