Cinco De Mayo


This festive image is full of popular Cinco De Mayo symbols such as sugar skulls, peppers, and a guitar. Image retrieved from Shutterstock.

Audra Gullquist, Layout and Design Manager

May 5 is Cinco De Mayo. Cinco De Mayo is Spanish for “Fifth of May” and is also known as the Anniversary of the Battle of the Puebla. This holiday is celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States to honor the victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon Ⅲ. 

In the state of Puebla, the holiday is celebrated by a reenactment of the battle along with parades and speeches. However, in the United States, Cinco De Mayo is known as a day to embrace Mexican heritage and culture through celebrations. The United States often promotes Mexican alcohol, foods and activities on this day. 

Cinco De Mayo is not the same as Mexican Independence day as many may think. Mexican Independence Day is on Sept. 16 and celebrates the revolt against the Spaniards rather than the Battle of the Puebla (which is what Cinco De Mayo is all about). In 1861, Mexican President Benito Juarez suspended payment on all foreign debt. This angered the French and they retaliated by invading Mexico. Although the Mexican troops were outnumbered in the fight, the town of Puebla held strong and brought their country to victory. 

The French captured Mexico City, but in 1866 the United States assisted Mexico and expelled the French. They also executed Maximilian Ⅰ, the leader the French had put in change of Mexico City. Juarez took back his presidency and declared that May 5 would become a holiday to celebrate the glorious victory of taking back their land from the French. 

This Cinco De Mayo, go celebrate Mexican heritage, party with loved ones and maybe educate yourself more on how Mexican heritage has influenced our lives. 

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