Facts about Cinco de Mayo

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1. It is not Mexico’s Independence Day

Though Cinco de Mayo is an important date for Chicano and Mexican communities, it is not the Independence Day of Mexico. Mexico’s Independence Day is marked on the 16th September.

2.Cinco de Mayo Represents Patriotism and Unity

Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican Army victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla. The Battle of Puebla became a symbol of the patriotism and unity of the Mexicans. The victory showed the entire world that Mexico and the entire Latin America region were ready to defend themselves against foreign intervention, particularly from imperialist countries that were bent towards world conquest.

3.Cinco de Mayo’s roots are in Mexico’s French Occupation

In the 1846/48 Mexican-American War aftermath, the French occupation of Mexico took shape. This war got Mexico into a national crisis in 1850s. The national crisis involved years of civil war and the war against America which drove Mexico into bankruptcy and devastation. President Benito Juarez declared a moratorium to suspend payment of foreign debts in 1861 for two years and promised to resume payment after the period ended. The French, Spanish and English countries rejected the suspension and invaded Mexico to recover payment. The English and Spanish withdrew but the French persisted with the aim of creating a Mexican Empire under Napolen III.

4.A Commemoration of Mexican’s Unlikely Victory

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that allows the Mexican people to remember the unlikely victory against the French during the Battle of Pueblo. The highly trained French army started to advance in 1862 but was defeated by 5000 untrained Zapotec and Mestizo Indians with ill equipment in the Battle of Peubla on 5th May, 1862.

5.In the U.S, “Batalla de Puebla” is referred to as “5 de Mayo”

Most people in the United States refer to “Batalla de Pueble” as just “5 de Mayo and equate it the Independence Day in Mexico. This holiday is highly commercialized with most people seeing it as a time to dance and have fun.

6.Cinco de Mayo is Bigger in the U.S than in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo has increasingly become a Chicano that a Mexican holiday. Celebrations for this holiday are much higher and bigger in the US compared to Mexico. Persons of Mexican origin living in the US celebrate this holiday with organized mariachi music, parafes, folklorico dances and other kinds of festive activities.

 7.Los Angeles hosts the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world

The biggest celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the entire world takes place in Los Angeles where more than half a million people turn up for the street party called Fiesta Broadway.

8.Millions of Avocados are consumed during Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

According to California’s Avocado, an estimated 81 million pounds of avocados, representing 162 million pieces are consumed by Americans during Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The avocados are consumed during parties and celebration events held across the country and feature prominently in cuisines. Cinco de Mayo celebrations occur when avocados are in season and offer great opportunities for tasty avocado dishes.

 9.The first Cinco de Mayo party took place in California

The first celebration of Cinco de Mayou happed in southern California in 1893. The tradition has been followed to to date by Americans of Mexican descent.

10.Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Other countries

Cinco de Mayo holiday celebrations do not only happen in the U.S, the holiday is also celebrated in Canada, Australia and in some Caribbean countries.

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