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Cinco de Mayo: celebrating Mexican culture

On May 5, many will come together for Cinco de Mayo. Today we thought that we would explore the history of the day and how it has changed over the years.


What is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s defeat of the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Considering the small size of Mexico’s Army compared to the French forces, it was an unlikely victory and one that boosted morale amongst the Mexican troops.

Many mistake it for Mexican Independence Day, but this actually takes place on September 16.

In Mexico, it is usually commemorated with military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla itself holds an arts festival, a celebration of local cuisine, and reenactments. However, it is now more widely celebrated here in the United States.

It was first celebrated in the United States in Southern California in 1863. The celebrations were a show of solidarity with Mexico against French rule. It has gradually grown into a time for Mexican-American pride, with culture, food and traditions on display. Whilst it has become a day for drinking and parties here, in Mexico it is still a much quieter day.

The association with margaritas and beer began with marketing campaigns, rather than any tradition.

How do American cities celebrate?

From the New York parade to San Francisco’s family friendly festival, there are events taking place across the country. See live entertainment in St. Paul, Minnesota or try a variety of foods in Chicago.

Here in Ohio, you’ll find lots of restaurants taking part in special events.

Some ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

One of the best ways to celebrate is to learn more about Mexican culture. Talk to people in your community and do some research to learn something new.

Supporting Mexican owned businesses in your area is another way to show your support on May 5.

Finally, you might like to try some traditional Mexican cuisine. Find an authentic restaurant or have a go at some recipes at home, rather than eating at chains. These will rarely give you a taste of true Mexican flavor. If you are looking for ingredients, why not pop in and see if we can help?

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments below!

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