The average American believes that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day, when in fact, Mexican Independence Day is not till September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday inspired by events that took place in Mexico, and little to do with Mexican independence.
Cinco de Mayo Facts
The Battle of Puebla took place on May 5th, 1862 when the French army went to Mexico to collect war debts. While the French army was better trained, better equipped, and outnumbered the Mexicans the Mexicans emerged victorious, sending the much larger French army running for their lives.
Now, contradictory to popular belief, most Mexicans do not celebrate this holiday. Traditionally, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held in Puebla, Mexico and involve large parades, lots of dancing, music, and plenty of food and drinks.
Cinco de Mayo in the United States of America
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in cities across the U.S. with Mariachi bands, food vendors, and traditional Mexican crafts.
For people with roots in Mexico – who now live in the United States – and even for others with roots in Central or South America, Cinco de Mayo is all about celebrating Mexican heritage and Hispanic culture and traditions. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities, no matter the color of your skin or your own ethnicity.
Consider celebrating Hispanic culture and Mexican traditions this year by trying out some traditional Mexican foods, drink a little Mexican tequila, and reflect on all the wonderful things Hispanic culture has given us.