¡Celebrating Cinco de Mayo!
The Origin of Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, which is May 5th in Spanish, is traditionally a Mexican holiday, but it has become very Americanized. The origins of Cinco de Mayo tend to get lost in all the hype of margaritas and Mexican food.
Contrary to what many people think Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican independence. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the battle that was fought in Puebla, Mexico against the French army which took place in 1862. This particular battle was a cause for celebration because the Mexican army won the Battle of Puebla even though they were greatly outnumbered by the French. This battle was won by the Mexican army, which was a great feat, but, the French ultimately won the Franco-American War.
Even though they lost this war Cinco de Mayo was the motivation that the Mexican army needed to keep fighting for independence. With the spirit of Cinco de Mayo and with America’s help, the Mexican army was able to take their country back from the French in 1867.
Still today we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, although it is very different than how it started. The Battle of Puebla and the American Civil War occurred around the same time and this is what brought the Cinco de Mayo celebration to America.
It started with Mexican Americans in California celebrating Cinco de Mayo as a reason to abolish slavery. Over time Hispanic American across the western part of the United States celebrated the holiday with larger celebrations and parades. Eventually, the celebration grew bigger and bigger and Cinco de Mayo became more of a celebration of Mexican heritage.
These celebrations became so popular that white Americans became involved in Cinco de Mayo’s festivities. Then followed large corporations that capitalized on the popularity of Cinco de Mayo and made it a profitable holiday. Through time Cinco de Mayo has lost its original meaning, but it is still a popular day to celebrate and honor the Mexican culture.
Celebrating on the 5th of May
Mi Padres in Prairieville, La celebrated Cinco de Mayo this year, like they do every year. There was margaritas and lot of Mexican food. And of course they were very busy all day with people celebrating the holiday.
Stats of Cinco
Tequila and margaritas sales skyrocket during Cinco de Mayo. Many American cities know how to party and you can take part in the fun at the comfort of your home by making your own margaritas.
To discover more click on the graphic!
A Mexican Perspective
Americans love Cinco de Mayo, but how do Mexicans feel about this holiday that is suppose to celebrate their countries success. Michael Torres, a local Mexican American, gives us his past experiences with Cinco de Mayo and his opinion on why it is so popular in America.