Cinco de Mayo

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Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a holiday celebrating Mexican heritage and pride, and is held on May 5. It is celebrated in the United States and in some parts of Mexico, mostly in the state of Puebla.[1][2][3][4] Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day,[5] the most important national holiday in Mexico.

In the Mexican state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated because the Mexican army won the Battle of Puebla from the French army on May 5, 1862. This was a surprising victory. The army was under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[6][7]

United States[change | edit source]

Cinco de Mayo performers at the White House
Cinco de Mayo celebration in Saint Paul, Minnesota

In the United States Cinco de Mayo is more important than in Mexico.[8][9][10][11] It is a day to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry. This is in the same way as other holidays like St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by many Americans, not only by Americans of Mexican origin. Celebrations use both traditional Mexican symbols, like the Virgen de Guadalupe, and prominent figures with Mexican roots in the United States, including César Chávez.[12]

Many people display Cinco de Mayo banners while schools organise events to educate pupils about Mexico. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially its music and regional dancing. Examples include baile folklórico and mariachi demonstrations held every year at the Plaza del Pueblo de Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. Businesses advertise Mexican products and services, especially Mexican drinks,[13] foods, and music.[14][15]

Mexico[change | edit source]

Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday limited mostly to the state of Puebla.[16]

Elsewhere[change | edit source]

Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated outside Mexico and the United States. For example, a sky-diving club near Vancouver, Canada, holds a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event.[17] In the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, there is an yearly Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition.[18] As far away as the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, revelers are encouraged to drink Mexican beer on May 5.[19]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Cinco de Mayo. Mexico Online: The Oldest and most trusted online guide to Mexico. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  2. "The anniversary of the victory is celebrated only sporadically in Mexico" - National Geographic Accessed December 4, 2007
  3. List of Public and Bank Holidays in Mexico April 14, 2008. This list indicates that Cinco de Mayo is not a día feriado obligatorio ("obligatory holiday"), but is instead a holiday that can be voluntarily observed.
  4. Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in México Accessed May 5, 2009
  5. Adam Brooks. "Is Cinco De Mayo Really Mexico's Independence Day?". NBC 11 News. http://www.nbc11.com/cincodemayo/2990178/detail.html. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  6. National Geographic: Defeat of French forces by Mexican Army Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  7. Library of Congress (U.S.A.) Declaration Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  8. "In historical terms, the battle that communities across America are preparing to celebrate this weekend isn't that significant, says John Renteria, director of Centro Civico Mexicano. The May 5, 1862, Battle of Puebla is barely even noticed in Mexico, Renteria said. But the celebration of the defeat of French invaders by an outnumbered Mexican army, led by a Texas-born general, is becoming distinctly American. "It's become more of a cultural, commercial phenomenon in terms of building awareness and educating the public about the Mexican culture," Renteria said. "It's really a U.S. day, not a Mexico thing, and that's fine with us." Statement by Mexican Consular official Accessed May 8, 2007.
  9. "Cinco de Mayo has become more of [an American] holiday than a Mexican one." accessed May 5, 2007
  10. "Cinco de Mayo has become a day for celebrating Mexican culture in the United States, and celebrations there easily outshine those in Mexico." Accessed May 8, 2007
  11. "Today, the holiday is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico" Accessed October 30, 2007 Archive copy at the Internet Archive
  12. In some locations with significant non-Mexican hispanic communities, such as Florida, the celebration has grown to include non-Mexicans. Ahorre.com Accessed May 8, 2007.
  13. "[Cinco de Mayo] gives us an opportunity ... to really get a jump-start on the summer beer-selling season" New York Times Business section; May 2, 2003. Accessed October 30, 2007
  14. "From my perspective as a marketing professional, Cinco de Mayo has morphed into a national holiday designed by Fifth Avenue to sell alcohol and excite consumership around a party-type theme." Accessed May 5, 2007.
  15. "Cinco de Mayo is not just a fiesta anymore, the gringos have taken it on as a good sales pitch." Smithsonian Institution paper Accessed May 8, 2007. "It's a commercial entry point for people who want to penetrate the Latino market," said Felix Gutierrez, a journalism professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication in Los Angeles." Ahorre.com Accessed May 8, 2007.
  16. "[Cinco de Mayo] is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico." Accessed May 5, 2007
  17. "Cinco de Mayo Skydiving Boogie" Accessed 2008-05-05.
  18. Cayman Cinco de Mayo air guitar Accessed 2008-05-05.
  19. Celebration in Malta. Accessed 2008-05-05.

Other websites[change | edit source]