With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Saturday this year, it’s no wonder everyone is getting excited for this festive holiday. While used as an excuse to indulge in some delicious Mexican food or refreshing margaritas, there’s more to this day of remembrance than people know.
For starters, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s actual independence day, which takes place September 16th. It’s actually a day commemorating the Mexican army’s against all odds defeat of the Napoleon led French army at the Battle of Puebla. While a relatively small holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has been progressing to St. Patrick’s Day levels of celebration.
No longer a day of remembrance, Cinco de Mayo now holds a more light-hearted, alcohol and food related celebration. In Mexico you would typically see a parade of sorts in the actual town of Puebla. There you would find people dresses up as Mexican and French soldiers, with reenactments for the battle as well as patriotic clothing being worn by spectators.
The United States tends to host parties with family and friends in a more traditional Mexican style. There will be large barbecues with people decorating in Mexican flag colors as well as live Mariachi bands or Mexican folk music. The main message nowadays to reflect properly on the holiday is focusing the attention towards the spirit of social justice and advocacy organizations.
For those looking at it from an enjoyment perspective through restaurants and bars, you will most often find latin establishments featuring drink and food deals catering to the celebratory vibe.