Cinco de Mayo celebrations are typically replete with Mexican cuisine, music and colorful paper decorations and on Saturday, May 6 from 11:00 – 12:30 the Wilton Historical Society will present a workshop for children in which they will make festive tissue paper flowers to celebrate this holiday.
Museum Educator Lola Chen will be talking with the children about the history of Cinco de Mayo (it is neither the date of Mexico’s achieving independence from Spain, nor is it a major holiday in Mexico!), and how it is celebrated here in the United States. The Mexican tradition of using papel de China (paper of China) or tissue paper began more than 200 years ago. Now practiced by artisans, paper art has taken many forms, such as cascarones (hollowed out eggs decorated with tissue paper and filled with confetti), piñatas (animal figures made of paper and filled with treats), papel de picado (punched paper artwork) and paper flowers.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Wilton Historical Society members $10 per child, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15 per child, maximum $35 per family. Please register: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-7257. The Wilton Historical Society is located on 224 Danbury Road in Wilton. For more information visit www.wiltonhistorical.org
Did You Know?
“After the Spanish conquest, paper brought from Spain became widely used, and in the 16th century the first paper mill in America was built in Culhuacan, a small town near Mexico City. A few decades later, a thin and colored paper called papel de China (paper from China) arrived with the Manila galleons and was soon used to make paper decorations like paper flowers and cut paper flags. Paper flowers were used to decorate the church in times of the year when natural flowers were not available. The art evolved as talented artisans made different types of flowers in a great variety of shades creating realistic, bright and colorful paper flowers.” Mexican Folk Art Guide
Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—is a holiday commemorating the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.