Cinco de Mayo has become as big a celebration in the United States as Saint Patrick’s Day—but while many people will seek out a celebration on May 5, few likely understand Cinco de Mayo history. What happened on that date, and why is this Mexican celebration day is so globally recognized?
It’s Not Like the Fourth of July
Many Americans assume they know a bit about Cinco de Mayo history, and assert that the Mexican celebration is the equivalent of Fourth of July . . . but Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16.
Cinco de Mayo, the day when the Mexican Army won an unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, holds much greater significance for the United States. The US celebrates Cinco de Mayo because it had huge implications for the Civil War: Mexico’s triumph ensured that the Confederacy would not be bolstered by French interests.
Experience It Yourself
Although Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s official day of independence, it marks an equally important day in the country’s history—which means it receives an equally epic Mexican celebration. While the US generally makes a bigger deal of the holiday than Mexico, visiting Puebla during Cinco de Mayo is a lovely (and authentic) way to celebrate. Book an affordable last-minute flight to Mexico City through CheapOair and take a bus to the beautifully preserved colonial city to enjoy the parade and plenty of beautiful, old churches.
Celebrate Closer to Home
If traveling isn’t in the cards, it’s easy to bring the celebration to your backyard.
Early May is prime springtime across the country, which means that, even if your idea of a Mexican celebration is grilling burgers with salsa or making steak tacos, it’s a great time to break in a robust grill like the Weber Spirit e310.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in Iowa or Austin—utilizing Tex-Mex recipes that recognize the long history of cultural exchange between Mexico and the United States will make your party a savory success.
Whether you seek out a large, organized celebration in your city, or invite friends over for an informal backyard celebration, nothing says Cinco de Mayo like margaritas. Buying a high-quality blender like the Professional Series 750 by Vita-Mix and proper bartending accouterments like the Salt, Tray and Cutting Board Set by Margaritaville will instantly take your frozen margarita game to the next level.
While the tequila might run out, your new blender and grill will be around to celebrate Cinco de Mayo history from May 5 to September 16, and for years to come.