The History of Cinco de Mayo
If you're not a Mexican American, you may not know much about Cinco de Mayo aside from it being a great day to enjoy the drinks and meal deals at Papa Lopez Mexican Cantina. This holiday is barely celebrated within Mexico, but here in America, it's considered a much bigger celebration that takes place each year on May 5th. Read the facts about Cinco de Mayo's history and how to best celebrate it this year:
Not Independence Day
There's a myth that Cinco de Mayo is similar to America's July 4th celebration of independence from England. However, it's actually the celebration of a specific battle in the Franco-Mexican War. Many people forget about this short, but important, war that took place in 1862 as the Civil War kept the U.S. busy. Napoleon III was aiming to interfere with a unified America by supporting the Confederacy, yet the outnumbered Mexican army managed to beat back his forces in Puebla in a decisive victory. Unfortunately, Mexico eventually lost the war and was invaded by France and was occupied for five years before achieving independence. Mexico's actual Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is not considered a national holiday in Mexico and is mainly celebrated in the Puebla area.
A Uniquely American Celebration
Los Angeles is home to the biggest parties on May 5th, followed by Denver and southwestern hubs like Houston and Phoenix. Of course, Allen, Texas is also a fine place to celebrate the holiday. Parades and street festivals are one of the most popular ways to get together and enjoy the beauty of the spring and early summer, depending on how far south you go. With 33.6 million Americans having at least a little Mexican heritage or background, it's not surprising that so many people love Cinco de Mayo and find it worth rallying around each year. Of course, just as many people who attend these celebrations have no particular Mexican heritage. However, they love the chance to enjoy their favorite tacos, tequila and other elements of Mexican and Mexican American culture.
In Mexico, military parades and battle recreations often accompany the most festive celebrations. However, this is less common in America and parties tend to focus on the fun instead. Many restaurants and other businesses will hire mariachi bands and other unique forms of Mexican entertainment to bring in the crowds and encourage them to stay all day.
The sheer amount of food and drink consumed on Cinco de Mayo across the country is mind boggling. Not only does America consume twice as much tequila as Mexico, but we also eat over 80 million avocados on May 5th alone. That's a lot of guacamole!
Are you craving some fresh chips and salsa, a burrito stuffed with fresh ingredients or any other delicious Mexican dishes? Drop in at Papa Lopez Mexican Cantina today and on May 5th for some Cinco de Mayo fun!