Cinco De Mayo in United States

Cinco De Mayo United States

What is Cinco De Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo ("Fifth of May" in Spanish) commemorates General Ignacio Zaragoza's 1862 victory against the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Their victory against the French strengthened the Mexican army's morale. Although the Second Battle of Puebla didn't see much success as General Zaragoza died from an illness. 

After the American Civil War, the Union began providing money and weapons to Mexican liberals, pushing France and the Mexican Conservatives close to defeat. Napoleon III said he would withdraw French soldiers from Mexico in January 1866. When France begged the US to stay neutral, William H. Seward immediately insisted that the French leave Mexico.

May 5 is a day to celebrate Mexican and Mexican American ancestry. Some people confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexico's Freedom Day, celebrated on September 16 to memorialize the Cry of Dolores in 1810, which sparked the country's independence from Spain. Cinco de Mayo, a day to honor Mexican history, culture, and gastronomy, is celebrated worldwide.

Cinco De Mayo All Quick Overview

  • Time / Date: May 5
  • Category:Cultural
  • Where It’s Marked: Mexico, USA.
  • Why It’s Marked: The day combines tradition, history, and much fun into a celebration filled with plenty of icy cold margaritas, spicy food, upbeat music, and colorful clothing.

History Of Cinco De Mayo

Contrary to common belief, Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexico's independence. Instead, it remembers just one specific conflict. Benito Juárez was elected president of Mexico in 1861. He was a lawyer and a member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe. After years of internal warfare, the country's economy collapsed, and the new president had no choice but to stop making debt payments to European nations.

In response, Europe sent naval troops from France, Britain, and Spain to Veracruz, Mexico, to collect on a debt. As a result of British and Spanish negotiations with Mexico, they decided to withdraw their troops. In the fall of 1861, the French navy launched an attack on Veracruz, deploying numerous soldiers that eventually forced President Juárez and his administration to abandon the city.

But at the Battle of Puebla, the French navy soon faced heavy resistance from the Mexican Army on May 5, 1862. Although the Mexican Army was half the size of the French soldiers, General Ignacio Zaragoza led them to victory 70 miles away from Mexico City at Puebla. Then, President Juárez marked May 5 as Cinco de Mayo on May 9. Thus, it is now a national holiday.

In 1863, California started conducting yearly festivals. In the 1980s, marketing by beer, wine, and tequila makers helped extend Cinco de Mayo outside the Mexican-American community. Now, the event yields beer sales on par with the Super Bowl. Mexico remembers the conflict through military parades and reenactments. Puebla celebrates the occasion by re-enacting the battle.

How to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

Particularly in locations with large Mexican-American populations, Cinco de Mayo is observed as a celebration of Mexican culture and history in the United States.

To celebrate the triumph of Indigenous Mexicans (including Juárez) against European invaders at the Battle of Puebla, Chicano militants in the 1960s helped to spread the word.

Today, celebrants throw parades, and parties, listen to mariachi music, and dance to Mexican folk music while feasting on typical Mexican dishes like tacos and mole poblano. Naturally, some US metropolises see more Cinco de Mayo festivities than others. On that note, where might one locate the finest party on May 5? Travel to Los Angeles, where celebrations take over Olvera Street and Broadway, or to Chicago or Houston, where you can witness a parade in the Pilsen neighborhood (complete with all the trappings of a solid Cinco de Mayo event) or take advantage of the many holiday specials offered by local businesses.

Countries that Observe Cinco De Mayo

Mexico and the United States celebrate Cinco De Mayo every year.

Interesting facts about Cinco De Mayo

1. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day

When people celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they remember one fight in which the underdog won over French forces who viewed Mexico's unpaid debt as a chance to invade and extend Napoleon's colonial empire. Indeed, this widely held idea is a significant fallacy: However, the triumph against the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, was more of a morale boost than a military victory. Although the Mexican army was vastly outnumbered and undersupplied, they nevertheless managed to triumph. The victory was so significant that it revitalized the resistance effort.

2. The Mexican government does not recognize Cinco de Mayo as a national holiday

Cinco de Mayo is a considerably larger occasion in the United States, especially in areas with sizable Mexican populations. While military parades and other street celebrations occur in Puebla (where the historic triumph occurred), the remainder of Mexico does not observe Cinco de Mayo beyond staging infrequent combat reenactments. The federal government of Mexico does not celebrate the holiday. Cinco de Mayo is another day of business in Mexico since banks, companies, and everything else is open as usual.

3. Fidel Castro helped bring Cinco de Mayo festivities to the United States

To better ties with Latin American nations, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933, which cleared the way for Cinco de Mayo to become a more popular American festival. However, because of the enormous number of Mexican immigrants in the state, Californians celebrated Cinco de Mayo far earlier than the rest of the country.

4. Parades and festivities are in the streets on May 4 to honor the Mexican army's victory against the French

American celebrations of Cinco de Mayo often include lively street festivities that draw large crowds. There will likely be much partying, with some events being more substantial than others (more on that later). Parades, live music, dancing, food, and alcohol may all play a role in the celebrations, depending on your location.

5. The holiday's signature food is Mole Poblano

On Cinco de Mayo, it's not hard to find a taco stand, get your hands on a margarita, or stuff your face with a burrito (ideally one the size of your face), but you may be shocked to learn that none of these everyday Mexican staples is the holiday's "official food." Select a meal that includes mole poblano for a more traditional holiday celebration: This thick, chocolatey brown sauce has a heavenly harmony of smooth and crunchy bits thanks to Mexican chocolate and spices. Mole Poblano was created at (you got it) Puebla, Mexico, the site of the famous military triumph.

6. The Mexican-American holiday of Cinco de Mayo is a major cultural event in the United States

This holiday initially commemorated the successful conclusion of the Battle of Puebla, but it now has a considerably larger significance in the United States. Due to the event's transformation into a nationwide celebration of Mexican culture, traditional military parades and reenactments are now less common than other forms of cultural expression, like music, dancing, and food.

7. The holiday commemorates the Chicano Rights struggle

Not only FDR's Good Neighbor Policy gives Cinco de Mayo significance in American history. This celebration has historical roots in the Chicano Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which utilized the day as a rallying cry to bring attention to an underrepresented group of people, much as the Battle of Puebla did for the Mexican resistance in 1862.

8. The United States observes Cinco de Mayo as a federal holiday

The reality is that although Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico, it is more of a celebration in the United States. And others may argue that the celebrations here are a watered-down version of the original, as most people only care about the margaritas and not the deeper meanings behind the festivities. People were undoubtedly taking advantage of Cinco de Mayo celebrations even before 2005 when George W. Bush and the powers that be in Congress made it an official national holiday.

9. Traditional Mexican music and dancing take place throughout the celebration

As was previously noted, the American celebration of Cinco de Mayo is mainly focused on honoring Mexican heritage. (Please note that we are not advocating drinking margaritas via a beer pong since this has zero cultural resonance with Mexico.) Traditional Mexican mariachi music, which has its roots in the country's revolutionary history and stretches back to the 19th century, will undoubtedly be included during the most lavish Cinco de Mayo festivities. Of course, when you hear mariachi music, you have to get up and dance. To satisfy your want to move, you'll likely witness dancers in Puebla costumes doing the baille folklórico, a style with roots in Mexico's Independence Day (September 16, not May 5).

10. Around the world, people celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 11

Cinco de Mayo is not just a holiday in the United States but in several other countries. Fiestas are famous all around the globe, and not only in Mexico. Countries as diverse as Canada, Australia, and Japan also celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

11. Starts with a drink

In the United States, people celebrate Cinco de Mayo by eating and drinking in massive amounts. Produce News reports that Americans consume an unprecedented 81 million pounds of avocados. The International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) notes that the United States consumes more tequila on Cinco de Mayo than on any other day.

Unique Cinco De Mayo Celebration Ideas

Some  Cinco De Mayo day celebration ideas are :

  • Find out where Cinco de Mayo came from.
  • Share entertaining tidbits of Mexican history and customs with the young.
  • Cook yourself some authentic Mexican fare.
  • Visit a real Mexican restaurant.
  • Deck the halls with bright flags and banners.
  • Hear some original Mexican tunes.
  • Go to a neighborhood festival or parade.
  • Go to galleries that showcase Mexican art and culture.
  • Learn from Mexican authors
  • Always have a courteous demeanor.

Cinco De Mayo Quotes

Here are some Cinco de Mayo quotes to get you in the mood for the festivity.

"Cinco de Mayo is boring...said no Juan ever."

"Life’s short. Eat more tacos!"

"How are you going to shell-ebrate Cinco de Mayo this year?"


1. What is the single most significant aspect of Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, is a celebration that honors the anniversary of the Mexican army's May 5, 1862, victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which occurs on Thursday, May 5, 2022, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

2. What does Cinco de Mayo not honor?

Again, Cinco de Mayo is more of an opportunity for American beer corporations to cash in and for restaurants to sell you $5 margarita specials with bad titles like "5 de drinko," which is not how you spell drink in Spanish.

3. In which parts of Mexico Cinco de Mayo is celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo is not a countrywide event in Mexico, but Puebla and Veracruz celebrate the day in festive colors.

Cinco de Mayo Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2022Thu05 MayCinco de Mayo Non Public
2023Fri05 MayCinco de Mayo Non Public
2024Sun05 MayCinco de Mayo Non Public
2025Mon05 MayCinco de Mayo Non Public
2026Tue05 MayCinco de Mayo Non Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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