Things Know about Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held all over the world every May 5th; appropriately, enough, since the name of this holiday literally means “5th of May.” Marking the victory of the Mexican army over a much larger French force in the Battle of Puebla in 1862, Cinco de Mayo is not a major holiday in Mexico itself, where it is celebrated mostly in the state of Puebla itself – but much like St. Patrick’s Day, the Feast of St. Gennaro or Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo has been adopted with enthusiasm by people in the United States and in many other countries around the globe, whether or not they can trace their ancestry to Ireland, Italy, China or more to the point here, Mexico.
There are Cinco de Mayo celebrations held in many cities across the US and elsewhere; in the United States, for instance, there are parades in Reno, Nevada, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon, among other cities. In Vancouver, Canada, there is an annual Cinco de Mayo skydiving event; and curiously enough, an annual Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition in the Cayman Islands! The holiday is marked in one way or another as far away as Malta; but there is no country, which has taken to this holiday more so than the United States.
The relatively large Mexican population in the United States due to the proximity and historical ties between the two nations is one reason why Cinco de Mayo celebrations are so widespread in the States; but there is another factor at play here – the popularity of Mexican food in the US.
A Cinco de Mayo party just isn’t a Cinco de Mayo party without food and as Mexican groceries become more common across the country and the average American becomes a more educated about Mexican cuisine beyond fast food burritos, the fare served at Cinco de Mayo celebrations has become far more varied than once was the case.
Compared to the festivities surrounding the holiday in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is hardly celebrated in Mexico. There are a few events held in Mexico, though these are largely confined to the state of Puebla and in Mexico City.
However, just as you don’t need to be Mexican to enjoy Cinco de Mayo celebrations, you don’t need to be in Mexico to mark this holiday either; whether you decide to attend a formal celebration in your city or hold your own Cinco de Mayo festivities at home, this is a great day to celebrate Mexico’s history and of course, the cuisine of our neighbors to the south.
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