The 5th of May, or el Cinco de Mayo in Spanish, becomes a more popular holiday in the United States every year, highlighting the strength and bond of Mexican-American culture. Celebrations are not particularly widespread in Mexico, and mainly take place in the Mexican state of Puebla. In Peñón de los Baños, Mexico City, battle reenactments occur annually. Many U.S. cities hold celebrations, carnivals, fiestas and multi-day affairs during the first week of May, with the largest held in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon and Texas. Consider these international etiquette tips:
1. Not a Celebration of Mexican Independence
Before we pour ourselves some sparkling Topo Chico or exquisite tequila and partake of the festivities, we need to know: What is the historical background of this holiday? A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo, is a celebration of Mexican Independence. In fact, September 16th marks Mexican Independence day.
2. A David vs. Goliath Style Success The 5th of May commemorates a battle between France and Mexico in 1862. At that time, Mexico owed debts to France due to changing credit regulations. So the French army, the most powerful force in the world, invaded the country. In what appeared to be an unmatchable fight, with the French army doubling the size of the Mexican troops, the Mexican army surprisingly and impressively defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. Today, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of their victory.