20 Ways Latinos Celebrate The Fourth Like Nobody Else
Happy Fourth of July, amigos. Independence Day is typically reserved for celebrating America’s freedom from colonial Britain, although we know it’s much more layered than that. Here is what a typical Independence Day celebration looks like for Latinos.
1. This year, we’re keeping up with old traditions (read: food), and throwing down the new administration.
This weekend we marched. While it feels wrong to celebrate our freedom while so many are without, it’s better to be together. And you know the carne asada is going down no matter what.
2. Because you know your dad is geared tf up.
He’s been wearing the same New Balances for the last ten years, and they only come out when it’s time to grill. Don’t even think about giving him a hard time for it–that is an unspeakable offense.
3. Don’t even think about making fun of his “protective eyewear.”
He’s a sucker for all the sales and got a really good deal for it, OK? Let the man make you some carne asada..
4. Because Latinos are too good for hamburguesas and hot dogs.
The churrasco situation is always lit. My family’s take on lechón asada was to just stick a whole baby pig on the grill and cook it for hours. Of course, that’s only after it has been marinating in sofrito overnight.
4. And your tía isn’t bringing string beans.
Oh, and the potluck food that your tias and primos are bringing? It’s all croquetas y pasteles y tamales.
5. Three plantains per entry, por favor.
Your family comes with a bag of ripe plantains to grill on the stove, mangos for the tajín and avocados from the backyard tree. Yeah. We know how to tostone and party.
6. If we’re being honest here, Latinos celebrate the 4th as an excuse to eat all this food.
There’s a whole separate grill for the elote. Oh, and there’s only one grocery stop you need to make the weekend before.
7. Costco is the go-to place for all your holiday needs.
Your mom always made you go to Costco with her the weekend before to get the Tajín, elotes, limes in bulk. Oh, and the tequila. Lots of tequila happening on the 4th of July.
8. Pero, dayum, it’s worth it.
Once all the food is out, and you’ve got the whole land and sea on platters scattered around the yard, it’s time to feast. You can’t forget the mojo on the side, too.
9. But, before that can happen, tiene paciencia.
We’re slow AF to get the grill going. Everyone arrives late, but so does the carne asada. ????
Caption: “When you’re starving and the charcoal can’t be ready fast enough”
10. Don’t even try to help with the grilling.
Your dad has everything arranged in a very specific order, and if you let the smoke out, the food loses its flavor. Or something. It’s always something. ???? Avoid the tongs to the face and just stick to cleaning.
11. And you only ever buy fireworks from the side of the road.
Here’s why: your mother never planned to get fireworks because she worries too much, but when we saw those stands on the side of the road, the begging began. That is the one and only reason you ever had fireworks, and never anything too big, because somos fragíles.
12. And when you do set off the fireworks, su mama thinks its a gun.
Cada vez. You know the worst part? Now I do, too! ????
13. The only helado allowed is shaped like a rocket:
All the kids’ lips are red and blue and zooming around like actual rocketships. At some point, your mom always whips out the hose and the backyard becomes a mini-waterpark.
14. You know every new citizen at the BBQ will be wearing stars and stripes.
Usually, there’s at least one recent American citizen who is just glowing. The party is essentially for him or her and they know it. Here’s to hoping there will be more this year.
15. Your dog will be dressed to impress.
I never said he’d be wearing American flags, too. Every 4th of July celebration is going to have your homeland’s flag waving, or, at the very least, securely fastened on the dog, pobrecito.
P.S.- That’s Eva Longoria’s dog! Que cute!
16. No matter whether you’re Mexican or not, there will be a piñata.
My boricua mother stuffed our piñata with male thongs and tequila nips, while my Jamaican dad avoided the scene like the Pope avoids the gays. OK–there was some tamarindo in there, too, but we had to wait to eat it until after dessert.
17. Obviously, there will be all kinds of dessert, like flan.
She makes it every year, and even though you stuffed your face with Bomb Pops, and secretly chowed on the tamarindo and Ring Pops, you still have to have a slice or risk hurting her feelings. And, honestly, you’re here for it.
18. Everyone gets super drunk.
Maybe it’s the nips from the piñata or the Costco sized botellóns or the six packs of Modelo per person, but everyone gets lit.
19. The day always ends with cafecito.
As soon as the Cafe Bustelo is out, you know it’s your mom’s way of saying that it’s time to go, fam. And time for you to start deep cleaning, because you know she was expecting you to clean as you go all day.
20. This year, how will you celebrate?
In times like these, sometimes the best act of resistance is to find pockets of happiness with the people you love. So post your outrage on social media and then soak up every minute of carne asada con la familia.
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