Today is Cinco de Mayo, the commemoration of Mexico’s May 5, 1862 victory over France, but more commonly celebrated in America as a kind of Mexican St. Patrick’s Day — instead of honorary Irish partying with green beer and parading to bagpipes, honorary Mexicans drink tequila and dance to mariachi music. (Plus, neither group knows much about why they are celebrating… but, all in good fun, right?)

Given the predominance of the Catholic Church in Mexico (although evangelical Christianity has gained ground in recent years there, as well as among Hispanics in America), there are plenty of Catholic fiestas going on. Check out this fun story about a mariachi band — founded by an Irish priest! — which performed at the Cinco de Mayo Mass Sunday at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

Some gatherings are also using the occasion to raise more awareness for protests against Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, which continues to be condemned by Catholic clergy and other faith leaders.

How will you be celebrating? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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