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Holidays

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo girl singing
What does Cinco de Mayo celebrate?

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage, culture, and pride.

When is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

May 5th. This is in honor of when the Mexican army defeated the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Who celebrates this day?

The day is mostly celebrated by people of Mexican heritage in the United States. It is also celebrated in some areas of Mexico, especially the state of Puebla. Many non-Mexicans in the United States celebrate the day.

What do people do to celebrate?

The day is celebrated with parades, carnivals, street fairs, and sometimes fireworks at night. There are some traditional Mexican celebrations such as the Baile Folklorico dance along with mariachi music. People dress up in traditional Mexican clothing as well. Some parades or festivals may include a reenactment of the Battle of Pueblo.

Major celebrations in the United States include: The day is also used to educate people on the heritage of Mexican Americans. This includes programs put on by schools and libraries. Important icons and people are studied including Cesar Chavez and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Many celebrations include Mexican food and music. The holiday is fairly commercial with restaurants and bars using the day to get people to come out and spend money.

History of Cinco de Mayo

The day marks a historical battle between the Mexican army and the French. The Battle of Puebla took place on May 5, 1862. The Mexicans were largely outnumbered by the French. However, led by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin they managed to hold off and defeat the French.

It is thought the day was first celebrated by Mexicans living in California during the American Civil War. The holiday became more popular in the 1960s and then became widespread in the United States with commercialization in the 1990s.

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