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The History of Cinco de Mayo
by Brenda Arnold
celebrate the mexican holiday Cinco de mayo on the 5th of MayThe holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the U.S.-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico.

The Battle of Puebla was important for at least two reasons. First, although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army. This battle was significant in that the 4,000 Mexican soldiers were greatly outnumbered by the well-equipped French army of 8,000 that had not been defeated for almost 50 years. Second, it was significant because since the Battle of Puebla no country in the Americas has been invaded by an army from another continent.

Cinco de Mayo Symbols: Piñatas originated in Italy and by the middle of the sixteenth century, the idea of the piñata (and many other Italian ideas and customs) had filtered into other countries such as Spain. In Spain the piñata began to be used for religious purposes such as the first Sunday of Lent. The breaking of the piñata was a very somber occasion. The Spanish explorers eventually carried the piñata to Mexico nearly 400 years ago. The piñata in Mexico continued to have religious significance but it was used for happy occasions as well (mostly at Christmas). Besides this difference, piñatas in Mexico began to be elaborately decorated unlike in the past. Eventually, piñatas were used for all festive occasions in Mexico and around the world. Their use has come to signify warmth, friendliness, and festiveness.

A Cinco de Mayo party would be remiss if it did not feature elements of Mexican culture. Vibrant colors of red and green mixed with white will set the tone of the festivities. Flowers are also a must have for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Cinco de Mayo Customs:  In the Peñón de los Baños, a small barrio or neighborhood in Mexico City, very near the airport, the people organize a very popular representation of the Cinco de Mayo battle.  This play is a tradition that the people of the Peñón have kept alive for many years. Some of the inhabitants play the French invaders and others the Mexican army.  They even have fights with real gunpowder rifles!  And sometimes they do get hurt.

Commercial interests in the United States and Mexico have   a hand in promoting the holiday, with products and services focused on Mexican food, beverages and festivities, with music playing a more visible role as well. Several cities throughout the U.S. hold parades and concerts during the week following up to May 5th, so that Cinco de Mayo has become a bigger holiday north of the border than it is to the south, and being adopted into the holiday calendar of more and more people every year.

Cinco de Mayo ends with the traditional shouts of ¡Viva Mexico! and people looking forward to the next National Holiday: El 16 de Septiembre Día de la Independencia de Mexico” , where we’ll have the chance to celebrate once again!

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The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the U.S.-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico. .
Starts: 05/05/2014 12:00AM
Ends: 2014-05-06:00.000 Duration: 23:59
United States and Mexico