Cinco De Mayo: Celebration Day

 Cinco De Mayo: Celebration Day

Cinco De Mayo, held on May 5, is an annual celebration in the Mexican-American culture. Let’s delve into the history of Cinco De Mayo and how it’s celebrated worldwide.

What Is Cinco De Mayo?

Cinco De Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is held on May 5 every year to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican and French Armies fought against each other at the Battle of Puebla, with the Mexican Army emerging victorious.

Soon after these events, a larger French Army fought and won against the Mexican Army at the second battle of Puebla. But the bravery displayed by the small Mexican Army at the first battle boosted the morale of Mexicans. Thus, the day is observed as Celebration Day in the Mexican-American culture.

History and Background

After the Mexican-American War in 1846-48, the Second French Intervention took place in Mexico in 1858-61. Those events emptied the Mexican Treasury, and the country suspended its foreign debt payments for two years. While Britain and Spain agreed to negotiate and peacefully withdraw, France saw it as an opportunity to establish an empire in Mexico.

The heavily-armed French Army of 8,000 men attacked a poorly armed Mexican army of 4,000. The Mexicans decisively defeated the French in the war, which helped establish a sense of patriotism and national unity. The Mexican Army won on May 5, 1862, and Cinco De Mayo came into recognition.

While the victory of the Mexicans was short-lived, it’s still remembered as a major event in Mexican and Mexican-American history.

Celebrations in Different Countries

Cinco De Mayo is mainly celebrated in the US and Mexico, along with some parts of the Caribbean, Jamaica, and Australia. Let’s look at how different countries celebrate Cinco De Mayo.


President Juárez, the president of Mexico in 1862, declared on May 9, 1862, that May 5 would be recognized as the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla and a national holiday. The day is no longer a national holiday in the country. However, all public schools remain closed in Mexico on May 5. Additionally, the day is a national holiday in the states of Puebla and Veracruz.

In Puebla, parades, meals, and historical reenactments take place to commemorate the battle. In Mexico City, a military commemoration takes place at Cinco De Mayo.

United States

The modern American focus on Cinco De Mayo started in California in 1863 to resist the French rule in Mexico. Since then, various events have contributed to the popularity of the day in the USA. Many people display Cinco De Mayo banners, and various institutions host special events to commemorate the battle.

Other Countries

Apart from the USA and Mexico, Cinco De Mayo celebrations take place in the Caribbean, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Paris, and some parts of Jamaica, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Wrap Up

The Battle of Puebla was a moment of pride and patriotism, and Cinco De Mayo is celebrated to commemorate that battle. While the popularity of the celebration has reduced over the years, many people in Mexico, the US, and other countries continue to celebrate the day.

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