Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and it commemorates the date of when the Mexican army claimed victory of France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated each year on May 5th to honor the historic victory.
Fun facts about Cinco de Mayo
With these fun facts about Cinco de Mayo, you can get everyone in the spirit to celebrate the holiday and everyone can learn a little bit more about why it is celebrated.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates a historically significant event.
Cinco de Mayo is all about celebrating the unexpected victory of the Mexican soldiers during the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war. Cinco de Mayo celebrates winning the battle, not the war.
Unfortunately, Mexico did not end up winning the overall war and eventually the French troops took over Mexico for a short time and instituted Emperor Maximilian of Austria to rule the land.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day
Cinco de Mayo is often confused for the Mexican Independence Day. However, these are two separate events and the Mexican Independence Day actually occurred on September 16.
It is not a Federal Holiday.
Offices, banks, and other businesses are still open because Cinco de Mayo is not recognized as a federal holiday. It is mainly celebrated in Puebla, Mexico where the battle took place and the celebration often includes a reenactment, fireworks, and a local parade.
Many Confuse Cinco de Mayo with Day of the Dead.
You will often find that many confuse Cinco de Mayo with Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead is a tradition that dates back to the time of the Aztecs and is celebrated in late October into the first few days of November to honor and remember the loved ones who has passed.
Dia de los Muertos is much more personal because you are celebrating your love done, what they did, and who they were as a person. To celebrate Dia de los Muertos, families will make the deceased’s favorite foods and leave them on the graves of those family members who have passed.
Cinco de Mayo Celebrations Became Popular in America in the 1900s.
Cinco de Mayo was sort of a political move that was brought about by Franklin D. Roosevelt who was President at the time. During his time in office, Roosevelt brought the “Good Neighbor Policy” to help improve relations with Latin American communities.
In the mid to late 1900’s it eventually became a national holiday and in 2005 it was called upon by the Congress and the President for us to observe with celebrations and activities here in the United States.
Many companies, especially beer companies, saw this as a great sales opportunity and began commercializing it into a holiday of drinking.
The Biggest Cinco de Mayo Celebration is in Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles celebrates with one of the largest festivals for Cinco de Mayo. The celebration includes music, dancing, crafts, and more. Each year streets are blocked off for those who attend the Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Some Cities Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Chihuahua Races.
Yes, you read that correctly. Chihuahua races!
In Chandler, Arizona and Denver, Colorado, owners will enter their chihuahuas into the race and the winner receives a large cash prize. The races are so popular that hundreds of thousands attend the races to see who will win.
This is just a part of the Cinco de Mayo celebration though; they also enjoy other festivities to celebrate the holiday.
Mole Poblano is Considered to be the Dish of the Holiday for Many.
Since Mole Poblano was traditionally eaten in the town of Puebla, it has become one of the most popular dishes for the holiday because of its authenticity to the area.
Today though, you will often find loads of tamales, guacamole, enchiladas, tacos, and other Mexican favorites served throughout the world during the celebrations.
Cinco de Mayo makes for a lot of Avocado Sales.
Speaking of food during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, in preparation for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, there are over 80 million pounds of avocados purchased according to The California Avocado Commission. It is also one of the biggest days for guacamole sales.
That is a lot of avocados! It is no surprise though because a lot of celebrations include making homemade guacamole and avocados are of course the main ingredient in guacamole.
As another fun fact, that amount of avocado sales is just a little more than the number of pounds we as Americans consume every year.
Canadians Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a “Skydiving Boogie”.
That is right! In Vancouver, Canada, they take the celebration up a notch and the town comes together for their annual “skydiving boogie” where those who celebrate jump of planes and participate in aerial acrobatics.