It’s May 5th Cinco de Mayo
On Cinco de Mayo
, most Americans think of margaritas, Mexican food, and mariachi bands, but what is Cinco de Mayo actually about? Surprisingly it is a misconception that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day, when in all actuality it is to celebrate the Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Great Britain, Spain, and France had invaded Mexico in late 1861, but Spain and Great Britain pulled out within six months. France decided to take advantage of the chaos happening north of the Mexican border where the U.S. Civil War was taking place. The battle was a classic David-over-Goliath victory for the small town of Puebla against Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Napoleon’s French forces.
Though Americans in the western states have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo practically since the battle ended, it was largely an unknown celebration in most parts of the U.S. until the 1960s. This is when Mexican-American activists started raising its profile by celebrating it and their pride in the community. Today it happens to be the biggest non-winter drinking day of the year, and it’s in the top five drinking holidays in general. Traditionally, Cinco de Mayo celebrations include parades, mariachi music performances, and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.
So for this Cinco de Mayo, enjoy some authentic Mexican food like mole poblano, and celebrate this holiday full of culture and heritage.
If you plan to enjoy the holiday at a restaurant, keep an eye out for buttons
that the servers often wear to celebrate this festive holiday.