Cinco de Mayo is a day principally celebrated in the United States on the 5th of May. Mexico also celebrates this holiday, but refers to it as El dia de la Batalla de Puebla. This historical day remembers the freedom and equality Mexico earned after the first years following the American Civil War from the years 1846-1848. The country gained unity, independence and pride with their win of The Battle of Puebla against France. Mexico was able to come together and defeat France’s army, which was believed to be better-equipped than Mexico’s since they had more people. With this important and exceptional defeat, we now continue to celebrate and honor Mexico’s fighting in The Battle of Puebla.
The first celebration of Cinco de Mayo in America was in the late 1860’s and honored those of Mexican and Latino heritage. The holiday gained even more popularity in the years after, and eventually led to people of the United States being observant and respectful to this significant day.
To honor Cinco de Mayo, many people hang banners around their towns. Citizens also partake in festivities such as; listening to Mexican music, learning about Mexican culture, and cooking dishes that descend from Mexico.
In Santa Barbara, a festival is held to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at De La Guerra Plaza. At the Plaza, there are numerous ways to enjoy Mexican culture, including offerings from food markets, and all weekend there is live music. The event is held this year on Monday, May 5th and is an all weekend celebration.
Of course there are many ways to celebrate at home, as well. As food is a big part of holidays, there are many delicious meals and desserts for you and your family to make for this meaningful day. Homemade tortillas topped with fresh salsa or guacamole offers an authentic Mexican meal, as do chicken enchiladas, grilled fish tacos, a chili rellenos casserole, pollo fajitas, black bean and corn burritos, and chicken tortilla soup. Mexican desserts are very tasty and are even better homemade. Certain favorites are Mexican wedding cookies, chocolate empanadas, Marranitos cookies, apple dessert enchiladas, sopapillas, and tres leche cake. Mexican drinks include Horchata, strawberry water, and Mexican hot chocolate.
A few games to play in celebration of Cinco de Mayo are Mexican dominoes, Mexican Hat Dance, “Stealing the Sombrero,” Mexican Lottery Card, or buying and hitting a pinata.
Lastly, listen to music to get in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo. As there are many popular styles of Mexican music, including; Grupera, Mexican ska, Bolero, Latin ballad, Cumbia, Jazz, Banda, Mariachi, Marimba, Son, Ranchera and Corrido.
With these tips on how to celebrate and enjoy this amazing holiday, I hope your Cinco de Mayo is one to remember.