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Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States. Photo: Pixabay.
Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States. Photo: Pixabay.

Everything you need to know about Cinco de Mayo

The world's largest Cinco de Mayo celebration is held in Los Angeles, California, and honors Mexican culture and cuisine.

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Cinco de Mayo  has become an important holiday in the United States. And although its celebration outside of Mexico is full of historical errors, it is a day that pays homage to Mexican culture and traditions.

Many people believe that this date commemorates Mexican independence, in reality this day celebrates the Battle of Puebla, a historic date in which Mexico defeated the French army in the city.

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To understand a little more about the meaning of Cinco de Mayo, here are five facts you probably didn't know. 

  • Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, and not the Mexican independence, as some believe, which is celebrated on September 16. Although on this day the Mexicans defeated the French threat, the French did not leave the country, and continued to control Mexico City and Puebla for five more years after the confrontation.   
  • It is not as celebrated in Mexico as one might think, in fact it is no longer a national holiday. The symbolic victory of Cinco de Mayo brought morale and pride to the Mexican people, and Benito Juarez made it a holiday as the Battle of Cinco de Mayo on May 9, 1862. 
  • The popularity of this date reached the United States thanks to the influence of then President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 with the Good Neighbor Policy to improve relations with Latin American countries, including Mexico.  
  • Between the 1960s and 1970s, this date became associated with the Chicano rights movements in the United States, especially in California. In fact, Angeles has the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. Fiesta Broadway and Olvera Street host the most important festivities with traditional Mexican music such as mariachi, Mexican food, crafts, folkloric dances, traditional clothing, 
  • Puebla has the largest celebration in Mexico, in conventional years (COVID free) it usually features parades, fireworks and a reenactment of the historical event. Every year, citizens and military authorities, present more than 12 thousand people parading, accompanied by thematic floats to more than 30 thousand spectators. 

What did you think was celebrated on Cinco de Mayo?
 

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