Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the Mexican-American culture that is widely celebrated in the U.S where people drink margaritas, eat tacos, and have fun.
Before you join the hype, you may want to know first the meaning behind the wildly popular holiday.
Here comes the 5 things you probably didn’t know about Cinco de Mayo until today:
1. Cinco de Mayo is not the Independence day of Mexico.
Its date is still being misinterpreted by many people as Mexico’s Independence Day. The truth is that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the shocking victory of the Mexican army over France during the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
The French army vastly outnumbered the Mexican while the latter struggled with insufficient resources to win the battle. Still, in the end, the Mexican army managed to have less than a hundred casualties, compared to France’s 500. Though it is not a major overall win, it was still considered a symbol of great victory.
For the record, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16 to celebrate its independence from the Spanish government.
2. Cinco de Mayo isn’t widely known in Mexico.
The celebration is highly acknowledged in Puebla, the place of the 1862 battle. Locals gather for a big and colorful parade where participants dressed as French and Mexican soldiers to reenact the battle and soon dance to songs being played to reenact the victory over French soldiers.
But for the rest of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is just a typical day.
3. Why is it so popular in the U.S.?
Cinco de Mayo became popular when it reached Mexican-Americans in California. An article from Time reported that many of them were not only happy about Mexico’s victory, but had been rooting for Union forces in the Civil War at the same time. Upon finding out, California’s Mexican-Americans formed a network of organizations to raise money for the Mexican troops.
In addition, the enactment of the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933 by ex-president Franklin Roosevelt helped to popularize the holiday.
The Cinco de Mayo that Americans celebrate today is the fruit of U.S liquor companies when they targeted Spanish Speakers in the 1970s and 1980s. Cinco de Mayo became a primary celebration of the Mexican-American culture.
4. The population of Mexican-Americans in the U.S.
According to the U.S Census, as of July 2019, it is estimated that the U.S Hispanic population was 60.6 million or 18.5% of the total population of the United States of America. Mexicans take up the largest group in the U.S Hispanic population, as stated by the Pew Research Center.
5. Americans consume a crazy amount of avocados on Cinco de Mayo.
Yes, that’s right. Cinco de Mayo celebration means a boost in Avocado consumption and sales! Aside from consuming the best Mexican liquor and tacos on that special day, avocados take a spot together with a margarita and other mouth-watering Mexican dishes!
Cinco de Mayo is a symbolic event for Puebla residents. It marks the day of Mexico’s victory over France. As Mexican-American population continues to grow in the US, Cinco de Mayo will always be celebrated in the most festive way!
To everyone who was curious at first why Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated, hopefully, these information shed a light to know more of the Mexican history. It’s now time to join the fun and have a toast with friends and family with a Mexican drink that fits the holiday! Looking for a recipe to celebrate the event? Check out our Cinco de Mayo recipe, powered by the sweet and smokey Los Magos Sotol!