Cinco de Mayo simply means the date of the holiday — the fifth of May. There are numerous ways to enjoy Mexican culture during the weekend of Cinco de Mayo.
From learning to do salsa dancing to visiting a local Mexican pub for tequila and sampling a variety of native beers. Of course there are many ways to celebrate at home, as well. As food is a big part of holidays, there are many delicious meals and desserts for you and your family to make for this meaningful day. Homemade tortillas topped with fresh salsa or guacamole offers an authentic Mexican meal, as do chicken enchiladas, grilled fish tacos, a chili rellenos casserole, pollo fajitas, black bean and corn burritos, and chicken tortilla soup. Mexican desserts are very tasty and are even better homemade. Certain favorites are Mexican wedding cookies, chocolate empanadas, Marranitos cookies, apple dessert enchiladas, sopapillas, and tres leche cake. Mexican drinks include Horchata, strawberry water, and Mexican hot chocolate.
A few games to play in celebration of Cinco de Mayo are Mexican dominoes, Mexican Hat Dance, “Stealing the Sombrero,” Mexican Lottery Card, or buying and hitting a pinata.
Lastly, listen to music to get in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. As there are many popular styles of Mexican music, including; Grupera, Mexican ska, Bolero, Latin ballad, Cumbia, Jazz, Banda, Mariachi, Marimba, Son, Ranchera and Corrido.
History of Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday full of rich history and Mexican pride. This day commemorates the Mexican Army’s astonishing triumph over the French that took place on May 5, 1862. The Mexican Army was greatly outnumbered by the French, who had also not lost a battle in over fifty years!
In hopes of slowing the French’s advancement toward Mexico City, General Ignacio Zaragoza and his troops attacked the French Army in the small village of Puebla. This attack resulted in the unlikely victory for the Mexican Army. On September 16, 1862, President Juarez declared that the date of the Battle of Puebla would be made an annual holiday. Hence, Cinco de Mayo became a popular holiday in Mexico and in areas where there is a large Mexican population.
There are various Cinco de Mayo traditions that are celebrated around the world. In Mexico, most of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations that take place occur in the town of Puebla (where the battle took place). There are large parades that feature people dressed up as Mexican and French soldiers. Vendors sell traditional Mexican foods as well as patriotic clothing and accessories for people to wear during the celebration. There is also sometimes a reenactment of the Mexican’s victory over the French troops that takes place in Puebla for visitors and residents to attend.
Family: Jenni Kayne
Location: Beverly Hills, California
Photography: Brittnay Wood