What is Cinco de Mayo and why is it celebrated in the U.S.?

As Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on Sunday, many are unaware of how the famous day became associated with Mexican pride.

Here's what to know about Cinco de Mayo celebration and its origins:

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo is the yearly celebration of Mexico's victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

While the French won the Second Battle of Puebla, and the leader of the first battle, General Ignacio Zaragoza, died months later due to illness, Mexico eventually received support from the U.S. after the American Civil War, leading to the French withdrawal from the country.

Now, Cinco de Mayo is more associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture, as it gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s through various advertising campaigns, usually for alcohol.

Where is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration?

Cinco de Mayo celebrations originated in Mexico, though the holiday has been recognized in the United States for many years. According to Way, Los Angeles, California is known for the largest Cinco de Mayo festival in the country, Fiesta Broadway Festival. 

According to Heymondo, the best city to celebrate in Mexico is Puebla, where the battle for independence initially took place.

Why is Cinco de Mayo not celebrated in Mexico?

While some in Mexico do recognize Cinco de Mayo, others don't think of it as a day of significant importance. It isn't a historical date, as Mexico celebrates gaining independence from the Spanish Empire on September 16. The celebration tends to be more popular in the U.S., though it is widely accepted as a day for Mexican pride and patriotism.

How is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

Usually, there are various parades and battle reenactments on Cinco de Mayo, along with folkloric dancing and the promotion of Mexican food and music.

Where can I celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the Seattle area?

Check out our previous story on the best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in western Washington!


Here are the best places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Seattle

Looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Seattle this weekend? Here is a list of some of the top events and activities happening in the Puget Sound Region.


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