Cinco De Mayo (May 5, 2023) | Facts, Meaning & Festival Celebrations

Cinco de Mayo, which means “fifth of May” in Spanish, is a yearly celebration that commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza. However, despite popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, which falls on September 16 and was established in 1810, 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.

Today, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a significant celebration of Mexican culture, not just in Mexico but also in the United States and other parts of the world. One way to celebrate this occasion is by indulging in delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine. From savory dishes like tacos and elote (grilled Mexican street corn) to sweet treats like spicy chocolate cookies and cinnamon-sugared churros, there are plenty of mouth-watering options to choose from.

But beyond the food, Cinco de Mayo is also an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate Mexican resilience and heritage. It is a day to recognize the Mexican army’s victory over a powerful French force and to reflect on the importance of standing up against oppression and injustice.

Many people associate May 5, or Cinco De Mayo, with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and festive fun. But did you know that this date has a huge significance for the history of the United States as we know it today? What was the event that sparked this day of endless celebration and joy? Let’s explore the fascinating story of Mexican-American history!

WHEN IS CINCO DE MAYO 2023?

The date of Cinco De Mayo 2023 is Friday, May 5th. It is a day that honors the Mexican army’s triumph over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla in the Franco-Mexican War of 1862. It is also a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, especially in areas with a large amount of Mexican-Americans population.

What is the Origin of Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo, also known as the Battle of Puebla Day, is observed on May 5th every year to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. This day is not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th. Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and commemorates the country’s independence from Spain.

The Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5th, 1862, was fought between the Mexican army and the French forces in the city of Puebla, Mexico. The French army, led by Napoleon III, had invaded Mexico with the intention of establishing a French empire in the country. Although the victory at the Battle of Puebla did not ultimately prevent the French from occupying Mexico, it was a symbolic triumph for Mexico and its people.

Cinco de Mayo is a day that holds great significance for the Mexican-American community and is widely celebrated in the United States with parades, parties, and traditional Mexican food and drinks like tacos and margaritas

Cinco de Mayo is mostly commemorated by Mexican Americans in the United States, especially in areas with large Mexican-American populations. It has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, featuring parades, music, food, and folkloric dances. Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated in Puebla, Mexico, where the original battle took place.

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, you can learn more about the history and significance of the holiday, enjoy some traditional Mexican cuisine and drinks, listen to some mariachi music or watch some folkloric dances, or join a local parade or festival. You can also use this day to appreciate and support the contributions and achievements of Mexican Americans in your community and beyond. Happy Cinco de Mayo! 🇲🇽

Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States?

We celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States for various reasons. One reason is that Cinco de Mayo has historical significance for both Mexico and the United States. The Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla prevented Napoleon III from supporting the Confederate army during the American Civil War, which helped the Union preserve the nation. Another reason is that Cinco de Mayo has cultural significance for Mexican Americans, who have used the holiday to celebrate their heritage and identity since the 1860s. Cinco de Mayo has also become a way of honoring the contributions and achievements of Mexican Americans in various fields, such as politics, arts, education, and sports. A third reason is that Cinco de Mayo has commercial significance for the United States, as it has been used to promote Mexican products and services, especially food and beverages, since the mid-20th century. Cinco de Mayo has thus become a popular occasion for enjoying Mexican cuisine and drinks, as well as learning more about Mexican culture and history.

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is a relatively minor holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. The day is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla, where the original battle took place. The city of Puebla, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park. The day is marked by parades, speeches, reenactments of the battle, and folkloric dances. Cinco de Mayo is also observed by some other regions of Mexico, but it is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks, and stores remain open.

Cinco de Mayo Shirts

Shirts are not necessary to celebrate Cinco de Mayo festive, but they can be a fun way to express your appreciation for Mexican culture and history. However, you should be careful not to wear shirts that are offensive, disrespectful, or stereotypical of Mexicans or their traditions. Here are some tips on how to choose a shirt that is appropriate and respectful for Cinco de Mayo:

Avoid shirts that mock or make fun of Mexican accents, language, or customs. For example, do not wear shirts that say things like “Hola Bitchachos” or “Cinco de Drinko” or that use Spanish words incorrectly or randomly.
Avoid shirts that depict Mexican people or symbols in a negative or exaggerated way. For example, do not wear shirts that show Mexicans as lazy, drunk, violent, or criminal, or that use sombreros, mustaches, ponchos, or cacti as props.
Avoid shirts that appropriate or misrepresent Mexican culture or history. For example, do not wear shirts that confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexico’s Independence Day (which is on September 16), or that claim that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday (it is mostly celebrated by Mexican Americans in the United States).
Choose shirts that celebrate or honor Mexican culture or history in a positive and authentic way. For example, you can wear shirts that feature Mexican art, music, food, literature, or heroes, or that show your support for Mexican causes or movements.
Choose shirts that are made by Mexican or Mexican American artists or designers, or that support Mexican or Mexican American businesses or organizations. This way, you can show your appreciation and solidarity for the Mexican community and culture.

In Order to buy Cinco de Mayo Shirts to celebrate this festival in a more fun way, You can follow the link given below.

CINCO DE MAYO SHIRTS: CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM AMAZON
I hope this helps you find a shirt that is suitable and respectful for Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy the festive! 🎊.

Cinco de Mayo Decorations

If you are looking for some Cinco de Mayo decorations, you can find many options online or at your local party store. Here are some examples of decorations that you might like:

Cinco de Mayo Tissue Ceiling Decoration: This colorful tissue paper decoration features cutouts of sombreros, cacti, maracas, and chili peppers. It is 10 feet long and can be hung from the ceiling or a wall to create a festive atmosphere.
Del Sol Flag Pennant Banner: This paper banner features 12 flags with different designs inspired by Mexican art and culture. It is 12 feet long and 12 inches wide and can be used indoors or outdoors to decorate your space.
Fiesta Time Maracas: These plastic maracas are 7.5 inches long and come in assorted colors. They are great for adding some fun and noise to your party. You can use them as table decorations, party favors, or musical instruments.
Taco Pinata : This pinata is shaped like a taco and measures 21.75 inches by 9.75 inches. It can hold up to 2 pounds of candy or toys and can be used as a centerpiece or a game. You can fill it with your favorite treats and let your guests take turns hitting it with a stick or a bat until it breaks open.
Serape Striped Table Runner : This fabric table runner features a colorful serape stripe pattern that adds some warmth and texture to your table. It is 14 inches by 72 inches and can be used on any rectangular or round table. You can pair it with solid-colored tableware or other fiesta-themed items.
I hope you find some decorations that suit your taste and budget. Have fun celebrating Cinco de Mayo! 🎊

Cinco de Mayo Party Activities

Hola! You are looking for some fun activities to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the annual commemoration of the Mexican victory over the French Empire in 1862. Here are some ideas that I found from web searches:

  • Make your own maracas with plastic Easter eggs, popcorn kernels, spoons and washi tape.
  • Set up a taco bar with hard and soft shells and various toppings like cheese, meat, veggies, rice and lettuce.
  • Serve festive drinks like agua fresca, a refreshing beverage made with fresh fruit, water and sugar.
  • Turn up the music with a playlist of Mexican-themed songs or hire a mariachi band to serenade your guests.
  • Dish out some desserts like chocolate chili poppers, pepper-shaped candies made with Tootsie Rolls and candy wafers.
  • Put up decorations like traditional Mexican banners called papel picado, colorful tissue paper with intricate patterns cut out.
  • Get crafty with flower crowns made from crepe paper sheets, floral wire and tape.
  • Play games like pinata, chili pepper guessing game, or Cinco de Mayo trivia.

I hope these suggestions help you have a fun and festive Cinco de Mayo party! 🎉

Cinco de Mayo: A Celebration of Mexican Heritage and Culture

Cinco de Mayo is a popular holiday that is celebrated in Mexico and the United States on May 5 every year. It marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, a historic event that took place in 1862, when a small Mexican army defeated a larger and better-equipped French force that had invaded the country.

The History & Background of Cinco de Mayo

The origins of Cinco de Mayo can be traced back to the 19th century, when Mexico was struggling with political and economic turmoil. In 1861, after a civil war that left the country bankrupt, President Benito Juarez announced that Mexico would suspend the payment of its foreign debts for two years. This angered several European creditors, especially France, which saw an opportunity to expand its empire in Latin America.

France, under the rule of Napoleon III, decided to send a large army to Mexico to demand repayment and to establish a puppet monarchy under Maximilian, a relative of the Austrian emperor. The French troops landed in Veracruz in December 1861 and began to march towards Mexico City. Along the way, they encountered resistance from the Mexican forces, which were loyal to Juarez and his republican government.

The Battle of Puebla

One of the most significant clashes between the Mexican and French armies occurred on May 5, 1862, near the city of Puebla. The Mexican army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, had about 4,000 men, mostly composed of indigenous and mestizo soldiers. The French army, commanded by General Charles de Lorencez, had about 8,000 men, including elite infantry and cavalry units.

The battle lasted for several hours, with both sides exchanging artillery fire and engaging in hand-to-hand combat. The Mexican army fought with courage and determination, despite being outnumbered and outgunned. They managed to repel several French assaults and inflict heavy casualties on the enemy. The French army eventually retreated, leaving behind about 500 dead and wounded.

The Mexican victory at Puebla was a remarkable feat that boosted the morale and patriotism of the nation. It also inspired other countries in Latin America to support Mexico’s resistance against French intervention. However, it did not end the war, which continued for five more years until the French withdrew their troops in 1867 and Juarez restored his government.

5 Day Mayo Festival

5 de Mayo festival is a celebration of the Mexican victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The battle was a symbol of Mexican resistance and patriotism against foreign intervention. The festival is mainly observed in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place, with parades, speeches and reenactments. In the United States, 5 de Mayo festival has become a popular occasion to honor Mexican culture and heritage, especially among Mexican-American communities. The festival often features music, food, drinks and games related to Mexican traditions. 5 de Mayo festival is not the same as Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.

The Significance of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day, which is celebrated on September 16. It is also not a major national holiday in Mexico, although it is observed in some regions, especially in Puebla, where parades and reenactments take place. Cinco de Mayo is mainly a cultural celebration that honors Mexican heritage and identity.

Cinco de Mayo became more popular in the United States in the 20th century, especially among Mexican-American communities. It is seen as a way to express pride and solidarity with their roots and to educate others about their history and culture. Cinco de Mayo is also a festive occasion that involves music, dancing, food, and drinks.

Traditional Activities & Symbols of Cinco de Mayo

Some of the traditional activities and symbols of Cinco de Mayo are:

  • Mariachi music: A style of music that originated in Jalisco, Mexico, and features guitars, violins, trumpets, and vocals.
  • Folkloric dance: A form of dance that reflects the regional diversity of Mexico and incorporates colorful costumes and movements.
  • Mexican flag: A tricolor flag that consists of green (representing hope), white (representing unity), and red (representing blood). It also has an emblem of an eagle holding a snake on a cactus, which represents an ancient Aztec legend.
  • Papel picado: A type of paper craft that involves cutting intricate patterns on tissue paper and hanging them as decorations.
  • Piñata: A papier-mâché figure filled with candy and toys that is suspended from a rope and hit with a stick until it breaks open.
  • Mexican food: A cuisine that blends indigenous ingredients such as corn, beans, chilies, tomatoes, avocados, and cactus with European influences such as cheese, meat, rice, and bread. Some of the dishes include tacos, enchiladas, mole sauce, pozole soup, churros dessert etc.
  • Mexican drinks: A variety of beverages that include alcoholic drinks such as tequila (made from agave plant), mezcal (similar to tequila but with a smoky flavor), margarita (a cocktail of tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur), and cerveza (beer). Non-alcoholic drinks include agua fresca (a refreshing drink of water and fruit juice), horchata (a sweet drink of rice, milk, and cinnamon), and café de olla (a spiced coffee with brown sugar).

The Future of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a dynamic and evolving celebration that reflects the diversity and richness of the Mexican culture. It is also a symbol of resilience and solidarity that honors the past and looks forward to the future. Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in various fields such as art, science, politics, sports, and entertainment.

Cinco de Mayo is also a day to promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation among different groups and communities. It is a day to share and learn about the history, traditions, values, and aspirations of Mexico and its people. Cinco de Mayo is a day to enjoy and embrace the beauty and vibrancy of the Mexican culture.

5 Facts About Cinco de Mayo

  • Many people confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexico’s independence day, but they are different occasions. Mexico’s independence day is on September 16 and it marks the start of the war against Spain in 1810. Cinco de Mayo happened much later, in 1862, when Mexico defeated France at the Battle of Puebla. So, if you are having this question in mind that “Is Cinco de Mayo Mexico’s Independence Day?” then the simple and straight forward answer of this question is NO. Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexico’s Independence day. Mexico’s independence day is celebrated on 16th os September as mentioned above.
  • Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico, but it is a state holiday in Puebla and Veracruz. It is also a popular celebration among Mexican-Americans and other Latinos in the United States.
  • Cinco de Mayo is not widely celebrated in France, where it is seen as a minor historical event. However, some French communities do acknowledge the day with cultural events and exchanges.
  • Cinco de Mayo is not just about food and drinks, but also about art and music. Some of the famous Mexican artists and musicians who were born or died on May 5 include Diego Rivera, José Guadalupe Posada, José Alfredo Jiménez, and Selena.
  • Cinco de Mayo is not only a celebration of Mexican heritage, but also of multiculturalism and diversity. The holiday has been adopted by various groups and causes, such as the Chicano movement, the American Civil War, the labor rights movement, and the LGBTQ+ community.

Why doesn’t Mexico celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Mexico does not celebrate Cinco de Mayo as much as the United States does. Because of the following reasons:

  • Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, which is a popular misconception. Mexican Independence Day is on September 16 and commemorates the start of the war against Spain in 1810.
  • Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. The Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla, which was a significant victory for Mexico, but not a decisive one. The French occupation of Mexico continued until 1867.
  • Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in California by Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans during the Gold Rush era in the 1860s. The celebration was a way to express solidarity with Mexico and resistance to French imperialism.
  • Cinco de Mayo became more popular in the United States in the 20th century, especially during the civil rights movement and the Chicano movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The celebration was a way to affirm Mexican-American identity and culture.
  • Cinco de Mayo is also influenced by commercialization and marketing in the United States. Many businesses use the occasion to promote Mexican products and services, such as food, drinks, music and tourism.
  • Therefore, Cinco de Mayo is more of a cultural phenomenon than a historical one. It is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, but not necessarily of Mexican history or politics. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is mainly observed in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place, with parades, speeches and reenactments. In other parts of Mexico, it is not a major holiday or celebration.

Why is May 5 special?

May 5 is special for different reasons depending on the context and the location. Here are some of the possible meanings of May 5:

May 5 is Cinco de Mayo: a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when the Mexican army defeated the French invaders. Cinco de Mayo is mainly observed in the United States and in the state of Puebla in Mexico.
May 5 is also Children’s Day in Japan: a national holiday that celebrates the happiness and well-being of children. On this day, families display carp-shaped kites and samurai dolls, and children receive gifts and sweets.
May 5 is also Liberation Day in the Netherlands: a national holiday that marks the end of Nazi occupation in 1945. On this day, people attend festivals, concerts and ceremonies to celebrate freedom and democracy.
May 5 is also International Midwives’ Day: a day that recognizes the work and contribution of midwives around the world. On this day, midwives and their supporters organize events and activities to raise awareness and advocate for better maternal and newborn health care.
May 5 is also National Hoagie Day in the United States: a day that celebrates the sandwich made with a long roll filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and condiments. On this day, people enjoy hoagies or subs from their favorite delis or restaurants.
These are just some of the possible meanings of May 5. There may be other special days or events that occur on this date depending on the country, region or culture.

Cinco De Mayo Events

There are several events regarding Cinco de Mayo. Here is a list of Cinco De Mayo events in different states and areas:

Denver Cinco De Mayo Colorado Events Festival 2023

Denver Cinco de Mayo Colorado Events Festival 2023 is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that takes place in Civic Center Park on May 6 and 7, 2023. The festival features live entertainment, food, crafts, games and more. Some of the highlights of the festival are:

  • A community parade on May 6, Saturday, from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • A taco-eating contest and a Chihuahua race.
  • A lowrider car show and a green chili cook off.
  • Three stages of music and dance performances, including mariachi, salsa, norteño and cumbia.
  • Hundreds of vendors selling Mexican cuisine and folk art.
  • The festival is one of the largest and longest-running cultural events in Colorado, attracting more than 400,000 visitors each year. It is a fun and family-friendly way to honor the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 and to appreciate the diversity and richness of Latino culture.

The best bay area events of Cinco De Mayo 2023

The Bay Area has many events and celebrations for Cinco de Mayo 2023, the annual commemoration of the Mexican victory over the French Empire in 1862. Here are some of the best ones that I found from web searches:

Cinco de Mayo Festival: Cinco de Mayo Weekend 2023, a three-day celebration in San Francisco’s Civic Center Park with live music, food, crafts, games and more.
Cinco de Mayo Concert at Golden Gate Park: a free outdoor concert featuring Francisco Herrera, Cascada de Flores and DíaPaSon, three groups that perform traditional Mexican music and dance.
San Fran-Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl: a fun way to explore the bars and pubs of San Francisco while enjoying exclusive drink specials and promotions.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta: a family-friendly event in Alameda with interactive booths, food, games, cultural information, music and a screening of the animated movie “Coco”.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration: a fundraising event in San Jose that supports ESL and citizenship classes as well as voter education and registration. The event includes a happy hour, a dinner with Mexican cuisine and live entertainment.
These are just some of the many events that you can attend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Bay Area. For more options, check out our travel guide for San Francisco.

What is Cinco de Mayo in San Antonio?

Cinco de Mayo in San Antonio is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that takes place in various venues and locations across the city. Some of the events and parties that you can attend for Cinco de Mayo 2023 are:

Cinco de Mayo Truck Show n’ Shine: a free event at Caliente Harley-Davidson with music, food and a display of classic and cool trucks.
Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl: a fun way to explore the bars and pubs of San Antonio while enjoying exclusive drink specials and promotions.
Cinco de Mayo by Dental Hut: a family-friendly event with free face painting, popcorn, snow cones, snacks and drinks for everyone.
Cinco de Mayo Festival: Cinco de Mayo Weekend 20234, a three-day celebration in San Francisco’s Civic Center Park with live music, food, crafts, games and more.
Cinco de Mayo at Paradise Canyon: a festive weekend at Paradise Canyon with a classic car show, folklorico dancing, mariachis and live bands.
These are just some of the many events and parties that you can join to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Antonio. For more options, check out our travel guide for San Antonio.

Cinco de mayo in Texas

Cinco de Mayo in Texas is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that honors the state’s connection to the historic event of May 5, 1862. On this date, the Mexican army defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, who was born in Texas. Cinco de Mayo in Texas is also a way to recognize the contributions and achievements of Mexican-Americans in the state, as well as to enjoy food, music and entertainment with a Mexican flair. Some of the events and activities that you can find for Cinco de Mayo in Texas are:

  • A Cinco de Mayo festival at San Francisco’s Civic Center Park with live music, food, crafts, games and more.
  • A Cinco de Mayo concert at Golden Gate Park featuring traditional Mexican music and dance.
  • A Cinco de Mayo pub crawl in San Antonio with drink specials and promotions at various bars and pubs.
  • A Cinco de Mayo fiesta in Alameda with interactive booths, food, games, cultural information and a screening of the movie “Coco”.
  • A Cinco de Mayo celebration in San Jose that supports ESL and citizenship classes as well as voter education and registration.
  • A Cinco de Mayo truck show n’ shine at Caliente Harley-Davidson in Arlington with music, food and a display of classic and cool trucks.
  • Enjoy a festive night of biking at The Cottage in Dallas, where you can get your bike cleaned, savor tacos and drinks, listen to live music, shop from vendors and enter a raffle.

These are just some of the many events and parties that you can join to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Texas. For more options, check out our travel guide for Texas.

Cinco de mayo in Austin

Cinco de Mayo in Austin is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that honors the historic event of May 5, 1862, when the Mexican army defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo in Austin is also a way to enjoy food, music and entertainment with a Mexican flair. Some of the events and activities that you can find for Cinco de Mayo in Austin are:

  • A Cinco de Mayo festival at Fiesta Gardens with live Tejano and conjunto bands as well as authentic Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine.
  • A Cinco de Mayo concert at Golden Gate Park featuring traditional Mexican music and dance.
  • A Cinco de Mayo pub crawl with drink specials and promotions at various bars and pubs.
  • A Cinco de Mayo fiesta with interactive booths, food, games, cultural information and a screening of the movie “Coco”.
  • A Cinco de Mayo celebration with a tribute to Selena and other Texas country artists led by Jennifer D’Spain.
  • These are just some of the many events and parties that you can join to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Austin. For more options, check out our travel guide for Austin.

Cinco de mayo in Las Vegas

Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas is a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage that honors the historic event of May 5, 1862, when the Mexican army defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas is also a way to enjoy food, music and entertainment with a Mexican flair. Some of the events and activities that you can find for Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas are:

  • A Cinco de Bingo celebration at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, with special games and prizes.
  • A Cinco de Mayo festival at Vegas.com with live music, food, drinks and more.
  • A Cinco de Mayo party at Ojos Locos Sports Cantina with wall-to-wall TVs, made from scratch Mexican cuisine and specialty drinks.
  • A Cinco de Mayo concert at Resorts World Las Vegas featuring Mariachi and other Latin musical genres.
  • A Cinco de Mayo fiesta at Casa Calavera at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with weekday and Sunday happy hours, Taco Tuesday specials and live music on Friday nights.

These are just some of the many events and parties that you can join to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas. For more options, check out our travel guide for Las Vegas.

Cinco De Mayo Customs And Traditions

Cinco de Mayo customs and traditions vary depending on the location and the context of the celebration. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Here are some of the common customs and traditions associated with Cinco de Mayo:

  • In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is mainly observed in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place, with parades, speeches and reenactments. Other parts of Mexico also take part in the celebration with military parades and festive events.
  • Cinco de Mayo has become a widely celebrated holiday in the United States, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Initially, the holiday commemorated a regional Mexican military battle that occurred over 50 years after the Mexican Revolution, called the Battle of Puebla. However, it has since evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the US.
  • In fact, President Franklin Roosevelt introduced the “Good Neighbor Policy” in 1933 to improve relations with Latin American countries, which led to the first celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the United States. Since then, the holiday has become an important part of Mexican-American culture in the US, serving as a symbol of strength and solidarity for many Mexican Americans.
  • Cities like San Diego, California, and Portland, Oregon, hold large multicultural fiestas to celebrate the holiday’s roots, including historical and cultural performances. Many Americans believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, but their Independence Day is actually on September 16th.
  • Moreover, Cinco de Mayo has become a time for food, drink, and other festivities, with restaurants and bars offering specials and events throughout the holiday weekend. However, it is important to remember the holiday’s origins and significance in Mexican-American culture while enjoying the celebrations.
  • Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across the country.
    Some of the typical foods and drinks for Cinco de Mayo are tacos, enchiladas, mole poblano, guacamole, salsa, churros, margaritas, tequila and Mexican beer.
    Some of the typical activities for Cinco de Mayo are making or wearing sombreros, ponchos or serapes; playing or listening to mariachi music; dancing folklorico or salsa; learning about Mexican history or culture; or participating in games or contests such as pinata, chili pepper guessing game or Cinco de Mayo trivia.
    Some of the symbols for Cinco de Mayo are the Mexican flag, which has three vertical stripes of green, white and red; the coat of arms of Mexico, which depicts an eagle holding a snake on a cactus; and the colors of red, white and green.

Official Dish of Cinco De Mayo

While tacos and margaritas are popular Cinco de Mayo fare, mole poblano is often considered the official dish of the holiday. Cinco de Mayo, also known as the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces in 1862. The battle took place in Puebla de Zaragoza, the capital city of Puebla. It is worth noting that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more extensively in the United States than in Mexico, and many people believe that it commemorates Mexico’s independence, which occurred 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.

Mole poblano, which originated in Puebla, is a rich and complex sauce made from a blend of chili peppers, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and spices. It is typically served over turkey or chicken and accompanied by rice or tortillas. Other popular dishes for Cinco de Mayo include green pozole with chicken, carne asada fries, elote, and Mexican-style slow-cooked casseroles.

In addition to savory dishes, Cinco de Mayo celebrations often feature fruity and refreshing drinks such as watermelon mint agua fresca. This drink is made by pureeing cubed, seeded watermelon with water in a blender and pouring it over a mixture of muddled mint leaves and sugar. Other popular Cinco de Mayo drinks include margaritas, palomas, and micheladas.

Overall, while mole poblano is often considered the official dish of Cinco de Mayo, the holiday offers a variety of delicious and festive food and drink options to explore and enjoy.

Cinco De Mayo Timeline

May 5, 1862

Mexico won the battle – May 5, 1862

Mexico won the battle of Puebla from French forces.

May 5, 1862
May 27, 1862

The First Celebration – May 27, 1862

When the news of the battle reaches Columbia, California, Mexican miners living there celebrated Cinco de Mayo for the first time in the US.

May 27, 1862
May 5, 1863

Gaining Popularity – May 5, 1863

The first official celebrations take place in Sonora and expand to other California cities, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles

May 5, 1863
June 7, 2005

An Appeal – June 7, 2005

Cinco de Mayo was declared as a day of observance by the United States Congress.

June 7, 2005

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