domingo, abril 21, 2024

Cinco de Mayo vs. Mexican Independence Day – What You Need to Know!


What is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo, which means «fifth of May» in Spanish, is a holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This battle was a significant moment in Mexican history, as it boosted Mexican morale and became a symbol of the people’s courage and bravery. However, it is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th.

People often confuse these two very distinct holidays, despite their having different historical and cultural significance.

But if this is not the Mexican independence day, then…

Why do Americans celebrate it? 

The tale of May 5th’s victory spread to all corners of what used to be Mexico. Reaching the ears of the Mexican-American community, who during the American Civil War, carried this feat and its Mexican dignity as their own. They marched holding both flags to show what they were fighting for, and taking pride in where they came from.

As time passed they took this day and made it their own, holding parades and festivities celebrating what had become «Cinco de Mayo» to help establish their place as a growing community.

How do Mexicans Celebrate it?

Although, back in Puebla you can expect ceremonies and recreations of the battle, in the rest of the country most would struggle to remember any details outside of the date. For most “Cinco de Mayo” was just a day off from school while growing up. 

The biggest Cinco de Mayo celebrations on this side of the border are in places like Los Cabos, that count with a well-established American community and thousands more visiting every single day. In this destination, it’s very common to find Mexican food and music covering the streets to celebrate this date.




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