National Hispanic Heritage Month

In 2015, the month-long celebration of the Hispanic heritage  begins September 15. The month lasts from September 15 until October 15. This American celebration started in 1968. Did you know that the term Hispanic refers to New World people of Spanish descent? Here are some other interesting facts.

Colorful skulls are part of the Hispanic culture that many people of European descent do not understand.

Colorful skulls are part of the Hispanic culture that many people of European descent do not understand. AFGE Flickr 

Why September 15 as a starting date?

It seems odd to start the month in the middle of one month and end in the middle of the other month. President Lyndon B. Johnson chose September 15 because it is Independence Day for five Hispanic countries. He declared the week of the 15 to be Hispanic Heritage Week. President Ronald Reagan expanded it to extend between the two months. 

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on the 15. For Mexico, it is the 16th, and Chile celebrates Independence Day on September 18. President Reagan lengthened it to cover Columbus day on October 12.

 

Who are Hispanics or Latinos?

Generally, the term refers to people in the New World who have Spanish heritage. This includes people of different races. In the 2010 US census, a Hispanic person could choose one of the following:

  • Chicano
  • Cuban
  • Mexican
  • Mexican American
  • Puerto Rican
  • “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin”

That census found that 50.5 million people classified themselves as “Hispanic.”

 

People celebrate this around the country.

Some larger towns and cities will feature celebrations of Hispanic heritage. UWM’s Roberto Hern├índez Center in Milwaukee and other university cultural centers may offer events. Many places, such as Delavan, near Milwaukee, celebrate Hispanic heritage in May with Cinco de Mayo festivals. 

 

Will you celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with "Carne Guisada," a Puerto Rican stew?

Will you celebrate with “Carne Guisada,” a Puerto Rican stew? Javier Lastras Flickr  

This month, consider visiting a cultural center or indulging in an authentic meal. Try enjoying a bowl of delicious Carne Guisada, or beef stew. Or decorate a Halloween skull as a tribute to the dead, Hispanic style. Celebrating Hispanic heritage can be fun!

 

Mixto or cubano is a traditional Cuban sandwich with roast pork, Serrano ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard on buttered bread.

Mixto or cubano is a traditional Cuban sandwich with roast pork, Serrano ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard on buttered bread. jeffreyw  Flickr 


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