The only day throughout the year when everybody wants to be a Mexican. We are pretty sure you’ve already heard about the celebration, right? But how many of you know the origin, and why is it being celebrated? Well, lucky for you, we will give you some Cinco de Mayo facts that would shed light on the Mexican Holiday.
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican celebration for the 19th-century victory over France in the Battle of Puebla. In the U.S., Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a way of recognizing Mexico’s culture, and the celebration always falls on the 5th day of May each year.
The 6,000 troops and General Charles Latrille de Lorencez were confident that they would win in their strike in a small town in east-central Mexico called the Puebla de Los Angeles, where the Battle of Puebla happened. But, the former president of Mexico, President Benito Juárez, mustered penniless but loyal troops that reached 2,000 men and are of mixed ancestry or native Mexicans and commissioned them to Puebla.
The celebration started when General Ignacio Zaragoza and his troops overcame the Battle of Puebla and the French troops, even when they were badly equipped. President Benito Juárez then declared on May 9, 1862, that every 5th of May is a national holiday in Mexico called the “Battle of Puebla day” or the “Battle of Cinco de Mayo” and was a recognition of the Battle of Puebla.
A professor at Washington State University, José Alamillo, sees the celebration of Cinco de Mayo functions as a bridge for Mexican and American culture. Back in the 1960s, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo became more famous as American-Mexican accepted it and welcomed it to show their pride in their culture.
Mariachi is the music most connected to the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Mariachi traces back to Jalisco, Mexico, in the 19th century. Musicians back then would roam from one town to another and sing the songs of heroes and enemies. Other than that, they bring with them news from town to town.
Mexicans celebrate this holiday by reenacting the Battle of Puebla, making speeches, and having parades. However, the way it is meant to be celebrated isn’t practiced in places in the country. The only state to observe the proper way of celebrating is Puebla, where the original victory took place.
Mexican cuisine and dishes are also part of the practice of Cinco de Mayo. Taking part in folk dancing, parties, parades, and mariachi music is a customary way of celebrating the holiday. In the United States, the cities of Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles hold one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
The celebration of Cinco de Mayo isn’t complete if there are no people dressed up in patriotic clothes and accessories. These decorations can be spotted in big parades where many people are also dressed up as French and Mexican soldiers. Adding to that, a lot of vendors take this opportunity to sell conventional Mexican cuisine.
People who celebrated Cinco de Mayo this year had to change celebrating the holiday because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Luckily for them, the 2020 Cinco de Mayo fell on a Taco Tuesday. Eva Longoria, an American actress, also hosted an online benefit concert in raising funds for the relief fund for farmers.
The coronavirus pandemic also affected a lot of Mariachi musicians. It was highly impossible for them to earn money amidst the pandemic due to the stay-at-home policy mandated by the government.
In 1933, the 32nd United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt imposed the “Good Neighbor Policy,” which promotes Cinco de Mayo in the United States. It is mainly directed to enhance the relationship between the two countries. Before this policy, there were fewer observations of the Mexican Holiday in the 19th and 20th centuries.
It was often mistaken that the Mexican Independence and the Cinco de Mayo celebrations were held during the same date. The Mexican holiday is celebrated on September 16, while Cinco de Mayo is celebrated every 5th of May each year. The Battle of Puebla took place over 50 years after the Mexican Independence day in 1810.
In the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in 2016, President Barack Obama had around 500 guests. The food was catered by Johnny Hernandez, a San Antonio Celebrity chef, and Maná, a Mexican pop band played the music.
How about you? Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo each year in your country? It’s great for remembering the establishment of France in Mexico in the 19th century. So, we hope that you learned a thing or two with these Cinco de Mayo facts.