Today is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Turning to secular matters, today is the Midpoint of Spring, and ¡Ole! Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated mainly in northern Mexico and in American Tex-Mex areas. Since today is also the day after Star Wars Day, today is The Revenge of the Fifth. And today is the Second Day of the Second Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The First Friday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is also the Midpoint of the Season of Spring, being halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. The Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 was important because although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army; since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the French Army had never lost a battle. However, the victory only delayed the French advance on Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico, and the French placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico in 1864. The French, under pressure from the United States, eventually withdrew in 1866-1867; Maximilian was deposed by President Benito Juarez and executed in 1867, five years after the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is not “an obligatory federal holiday” in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily. While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, mostly in the Northern state of Puebla, since while they won the Battle of Puebla they lost the war, the date is observed in the southwestern United States (also voluntarily) and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which actually is September 16th, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. (But it is a nice excuse to party and drink cheap tequila.) Yesterday being May the Fourth, it was Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You). Star Wars Day became so popular that May 5th has come to be called “Revenge of the Fifth”, a play on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans join the “Dark Side” by celebrating the Sith Lords from the Star Wars series. (A few years ago, when BlackBerry started circling the drain, I opted to change phones; I did look at the IPhone, but could not go over to the Dark Side (which, among other things, did not have external memory), and I went with Android, and I have been deliriously happy ever since.) Today is also the Second Day of the Second Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There is much more than music at Jazz Fest; the Louisiana Folklife Village features master artisans and tradition-bearers creating cultural treasures by using generations-old techniques. The Native American Village, a component of the Folklife Village, celebrates the rich heritage of our state’s indigenous peoples. And The Grandstand gives Festival-goers a chance to take an intimate look at the vibrant culture, cuisine and art of Louisiana in an air-conditioned environment. Today at Jazz Fest one can see Sonny Landreth, Jason Marsalis, Rhiannon Giddens, Earth Wind & Fire, Wilco, and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds.
Last night before going to sleep I read to the end of my chapter in 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks via Kindle on my tablet.
When I woke up today to get ready for work, I posted to Facebook that today was the Midpoint of Spring, that today was Cinco de Mayo – ¡Ole!, and that today was Revenge of the Fifth Day. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at ADR I ordered contact lenses from 1-800-Contacts. When we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mississippi Stud and Three Card Poker, and I was on Pai Gow all day.
On our way home from work I started reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and Richard stopped at Wal-Mart for some bread. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. We then watched MST3K Episode 1003 Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, which had Ernest Borgnine as a kindly grandfather telling a pair of stories to his grandson, one story being about the misuse of spells, and the other story being a resurrection of Stephen King’s short story “The Monkey”. I then came to the computer, and I think I will finish this Daily Update and go to bed early, and that I will not either do my First Friday devotions or play bingo down at the church fair today. Before going to sleep I will do some reading. Our #18 LSU Lady Tigers (37-15, 11-10) will begin an Away College Softball series of games with the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks (29-21, 5-14) to finish up their Regular Season schedule, and our #11 LSU Tigers (30-15, 13-8) will begin a Home College Baseball series of games with the #21 South Carolina Gamecocks (25-16, 10-10).
Tomorrow is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tomorrow is also the Kentucky Derby, run in Louisville, Kentucky (all I know about racehorses is which end eats). And tomorrow is the Third Day of the Second Weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Richard and I will work our eight hours at the casino, and in the early afternoon I will be going to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; I will then play bingo at the church fair. Our #18 LSU Lady Tigers will play their second Away College Softball game with the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks, and our #11 LSU Tigers will play the second Home College Baseball game with the #21 South Carolina Gamecocks.
Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist. Born in 1912 in Engcobo in the homeland of Transkei (now part of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa), his mother was a domestic worker and his father was a white civil servant. Educated in a local missionary school, he left in 1926 to work; he moved to Johannesburg in 1928 and experienced a wide range of manual jobs. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1940. In 1943, together with Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, he joined the ANC Youth League, founded by Anton Lembede, of which he was initially the treasurer. He later distanced himself from Lembede after Lembede had ridiculed his half-white parentage. Sisulu was a brilliant political networker and had a prominent planning role in the militant organization Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”). He was made secretary general of the ANC in 1949, displacing the more passive older leadership. As a planner of the Defiance Campaign from 1952, he was arrested that year and given a suspended sentence. In 1953 he travelled to Europe, the USSR, Israel, and China as an ANC representative, and was replaced as secretary general of the ANC in 1954. He was jailed seven times in the next ten years, including five months in 1960, and was held under house arrest in 1962. At the Treason Trial (1956 – 1961), he was eventually sentenced to six years, but was released on bail pending his appeal. He went underground in 1963 but was caught at Rivonia on July 11th. At the conclusion of the Rivonia Trial (1963 – 1964), he was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th, 1964. With other senior ANC figures, he served the majority of his sentence on Robben Island. In October 1989 he was released after 26 years in prison, and in July 1991 was elected ANC deputy president at the ANC’s first national conference after its unbanning the year before. He remained in the position until after South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994. In 1992 Sisulu was awarded Isitwalandwe Seaparankoe, the highest honour granted by the ANC, for his contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa. The government of India awarded him Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, in 1998. In 2004 he was voted 33rd in SABC3′s Great South Africans television series (died 2003): “It is a law of life that problems arise when conditions are there for their solution.”