No one loves a reason to celebrate more than we do! And even though Cinco De Mayo falls on a Tuesday – not exactly a big day for festivity! – during this less-than-normal year, we’re celebrating it in style anyway!
It seems most people in the US celebrate Cinco Do Mayo, too! The date has become a common part of our language and culture every Spring, not only synonymous with Mexican-American heritage, but also (in our more northern climates) with ushering out winter and welcoming the first blooms of Spring – the perfect compliment to the climate and vibrant colors of Mexico!
Cinco De Mayo has also become a popular reason to get together with family and friends, enjoy some Mexican food and beverages, maybe toss on a sombrero and invent a few new dance moves … and, in many US cities with large Mexican-American populations, colorful parades and festivals are common ways to celebrate Cinco De Mayo as well!
So what’s it all about?
Cinco De Mayo first became an important date in Mexican history when a much smaller contingent of Mexican soldiers, out numbered about three to one, defeated a much larger French army on their own soil in the decisive one-day Battle of Pueblo that ran sun up to sun down on – you guessed it! – the 5th of May, 1862. Despite crushing odds, the Mexican army’s losses were a mere one fifth of the losses the French army sustained, and the unlikely victory became a permanent part of Mexico’s colorful history.
The significance of the day crossed the US/Mexico border the following year, when people in California celebrated the first Cinco De Mayo as a way to show solidarity and unity with our neighbors to the south. And, by the 1930s, the date had become an annual opportunity to celebrate Mexican identity, cultural influence, ethnic consciousness, and community solidarity here in the US.
Over the years, the cultural and geographic popularity of Cinco De Mayo has spread throughout the US, welcoming all Americans to celebrate the cultural significance and impact of Mexico’s influence stateside, and the contributions Mexican-Americans continue to make every day in communities across our nation.
So while many may think of it as a great day to indulge in our favorite Mexican foods and beverages (like we need an excuse to do that!), the real reason we celebrate is continue to show our appreciation for and our solidarity with our Mexican neighbors – whether they reside here or across our southern border.
Today, while we raise our margaritas, let’s pause to appreciate of all the gifts our neighbors to the south have added to American culture, to celebrate our Mexican-American neighbors in our own communities, and to remember that Cinco De Mayo started to celebrate our solidarity, support, and appreciation of the same.
Happy Cinco De Mayo! We all have a lot to celebrate!
What do you do to celebrate Cinco De Mayo? What traditions or cultural contributions from our Mexican and Mexican-American neighbors are you most grateful for? Email a photo to us at email@example.com or tag us on Facebook or Instagram at @ccbd.mi, and you could win a pinata stuffed with free samples and other great prizes! For more details and entry rules, navigate over the Events section of our website!