Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated in the United States and Mexico every year on May 5th. It is often mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually celebrated on September 16th. However, Cinco de Mayo has its own unique significance and celebrates Mexican American culture.
History of Cinco de Mayo
The history of Cinco de Mayo dates back to 1861 when Benito Juárez—a Zapotec Indian who had become the first indigenous president of Mexico—declared a moratorium on foreign debt payments to European governments. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand repayment. On May 5th 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla, despite being outnumbered by a ratio of three to one. This victory was seen as a great symbol of Mexican patriotism and pride and is now commemorated each year on May 5th as Cinco de Mayo.
Significance of Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo has become an important part of Mexican American culture in the United States. It is seen as an opportunity to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride while also recognizing the struggles that Mexicans have faced throughout history. The holiday has become especially popular in cities with large Hispanic populations such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and San Antonio where it is celebrated with parades, festivals, music performances, and other cultural events.
Celebrating Responsibly During COVID-19
Due to the ongoing pandemic this year’s celebrations will be different from previous years with many events being held virtually or cancelled altogether. It’s important for people to remember that even though we may not be able to gather together physically this year we can still find ways to celebrate responsibly while keeping our families safe from COVID-19.