Ready for a fiesta? As the name suggests, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 and we all know you’re itching to get the party started. Despite the holiday’s popularity in the United States, many do not know what it is we are all celebrating each year. While often mistaken in the U.S. to be Mexico’s Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico. It is much more popular in the Unites States and has been celebrated by American citizens since the 1860s. The observation of this holiday began as a means of resistance against French rule in Mexico, but today it is observed primarily to celebrate Mexico and its culture. Every year on May 5, parties erupt all over the country in celebration. So let’s taco ‘bout Cinco de Mayo, shall we?
Why We Love Cinco de Mayo
A. We love our neighbors
We love our neighbors to the south and appreciate and admire their rich heritage and culture. When they celebrate, we celebrate along with them. They have also contributed to American history. The United States would not be what it is today without the support of Mexico’s great citizens. Cinco de Mayo is a great time to revel in all Mexico has to offer and celebrate the country and all it’s added to our own!
B. There are always celebrations
Who doesn’t love a good party? On Cinco de Mayo there are celebrations, parties, parades, and “fiestas” all across the country. Someone may invite you to one or you may throw your own. Alternatively, many restaurants, clubs, and organizations host events celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Wherever you are, there’s guaranteed to be a fun event somewhere! It’s a good time to relax, have fun, and enjoy the company of friends and family!
C. Amazing food
Let’s face it – we all love to eat. We love excuses to eat, especially when the food is terrific. Cinco de Mayo is an excellent occasion to enjoy Mexican cuisine and even try your hand at a traditional recipe you haven’t had before. If cooking isn’t your thing, go out to eat! Support your local Mexican restaurant and try something new off the menu. Unleash your inner foodie and enjoy the extensive cuisine Mexico has to offer!
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
1. Learn more about Mexican history and culture
In your free time, take a moment to read or research Mexico’s interesting culture and history. Discover the beginnings of Cinco de Mayo and expand your appreciation of our southern neighbors. Take the time to learn more about how their history has helped shape our own and the ways in which they have contributed to U.S. culture. Every day is a good day to learn something new!
2. Dance to Mexican music
Love to dance? Try learning traditional Mexican dances such as Jarabe Tapatío. You can take a class or simply give it a go in your own home. Not only is it fun, but the exercise will help you feel less guilty when you chow down on traditional food later! The bigger the group, the bigger the fun, so invite your friends and have a little dance party!
3. Cook an authentic meal
One of the best ways to get to know a culture is through food. So why not try creating a traditional Mexican meal at home, either alone or with friends? Skip the standards – you can have those anytime. Instead of guacamole or tacos, try making pozole or tamales. You’ll love making it as much as eating it.