Get ready to fiesta with the flavor of old Mexico because happening this weekend is one most well-known of latin celebrations – Cinco de Mayo!
Still not sure how and where to celebrate this Saturday? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.
As with any great celebration or festival, the key to making this Cinco de Mayo an absolute blast is all in the preparation. Determining details like how you’ll dress, how to celebrate, and most importantly, where will you’ll be when you do, will all help determine how much fun you’ll have on May 5th.
Sound overwhelming? Fret not, amigos y amigas, because today I wanted to make it easy for you to partake in this awesome celebration by providing you with my Ultimate Guide to Scouting Cinco de Mayo.
The Background on Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of Puebla
Cinco de Mayo is most recognized as a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride all over the U.S. (and regionally in Mexico).
So how did it all get its start?
Cinco de Mayo gets its roots during a time in history when the French occupied Mexico in the 1800s.
During this time, Mexico was absolutely in ruins and nearly bankrupt as a result of having fought in several wars including the Mexican-American War, the Mexican Civil War, and the Reform Wars. In response to their financial crisis, then President of Mexico, Benito Juarez, issued a moratorium suspending all foreign debt payments for two years. What happened next? Well, turns out many countries don’t like not getting their money so they sent ships to Mexico in response. While Britain and Spain were able to negotiate an agreement with Mexico, the French, under the rule of Napoleon III, saw it as an opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico – one which would favor France.
How does this relate to Cinco de Mayo? In 1862, an extremely well-armed French fleet landed in Mexico and fought deep into the country… that is until they encountered heavy resistance from the Mexican Army in a town called Puebla. It was on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo), that the vastly outnumbered and a much more poorly equipped Mexican army, managed to not just beat, but absolutely demolish their French counterparts – who at the time, were considered to be the greatest military powers in the world.
As a result of this victory against the French, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican national unity, heritage, and patriotism – similar to 4th of July in the U.S.
Other facts about Cinco de Mayo & Mexico
- Cinco de Mayo is more celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico, where it is a much more low key celebration.
- Cinco de Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, but they are two completely separate celebrations with the latter falling on September 16th.
- The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place in Los Angeles, where more than 600,000 people participate in “Festival de Fiesta Broadway.”
- The celebration was made popular in the 60’s and 70’s in the U.S. by Chicano activists who identified with Mexican Indian and mestizo (people of Mexican Indian and European descent)
- Cinco de Mayo is just one 365 festivals the Mexican community celebrates each year.
CELEBRATING CINCO DE MAYO IN STYLE
So now that we know about the history of Cinco de Mayo, how do people actually celebrate it? Well, depending on where you are and what your own personal style, you could celebrate it in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas.
Indulge Mexican Cuisine
Whether you want to go out or bring the fiesta back home, one way you could celebrate Cinco de Mayo is by eating Mexican Cuisine. Thankfully here in the U.S., Mexican food is very popular and no matter where you are, you’re likely not far away from an excellent Mexican restaurant or taqueria.
Need some suggestions on where to eat? If you’re in any of these areas, you might want to check out one of these awesome Mexican restaurants:
Tip: There is no one food associated with Cinco de Mayo so eat whatever Mexican dish you most enjoy, like tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or fajitas!
Find a Fiesta
Of course, for those of you looking for more a lively Cinco de Mayo, the only way to go is by going to a FIESTA!
Here are some of the more notable Cinco de Mayo festivals taking place across the U.S.
Tip: If you’re attending a fiesta, opt to wear colors associated with the Mexican flag – Red, white and green. Additionally, you could wear a few pieces of traditional Mexican attire like sombreros, cowboy boots, or huarches (leather sandals).
Not able to find a Cinco de Mayo fiesta near you? Don’t worry because you can still celebrate by planning your own party almost as easily!
Tip: If you’re Cinco de Mayo celebration involves kids, here are some Mexican recipes you might want to consider that everyone will enjoy.
Other Cinco de Mayo Activities
If you’re still looking for other ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, all across the U.S. there are a variety of activities you might consider participating in, including 5k runs, fundraisers, and more
Here are some you may consider checking out:
Cinco de Mayo
This Saturday, all across the U.S., many Americans will celebrate Cinco de Mayo – a celebration of Mexican heritage, culture, and pride. From New York to Los Angeles, cities will host a variety of events and festivals designed for everyone to join and participate in, like fiestas, concerts, and fundraisers. Hopefully regardless of what city you’re in or what your flavor, our guide to Cinco de Mayo made it easier for you to figure out where and how to celebrate this day of Mexican culture and heritage.
Lastly, if you do decide to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with margaritas and spirits, I encourage you to please do so responsibly and to plan your rides ahead of time.
Still looking for more ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo near you? Check out Scout.me and discover events and celebrations near you.