Mexico, Travel

Cinco de Mayo – Ways We Celebrate The Day

man s black blazer and brown traditional hat

Cinco de Mayo or the fifth of May

This is an extremely popular holiday in the U.S. with its roots within Mexico. The holiday is a rather minor holiday in Mexico. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, especially between Mexican-American families. This holiday dates back to the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War when the Mexican army claimed victory over France in May 5, 1862- Cinco de Mayo is also known as Battle of the Puebla Day.

What makes the celebration different in the U.S. and Mexico?  Here are some example of the differ ways each country celebrate this holiday each year. 

Cinco de Mayo in the U.S.

Photo by © JIM Mourgos

The first records of Cinco de Mayo being celebrated in the U.S. was in Southern California in 1863 as way to demonstrate solidarity with Mexico against French rule. It was not until the 1930s that this holiday became more popular in the U.S. as means to share and celebrate Mexican culture and heritage.

Some people will use this day as just another excuse to party.  While others in the U.S. of Mexican-American heritage see Cinco de Mayo as a holiday and there are larger festivals across the U.S. Some cities that are know for their Cinco de Mayo festivities include: New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, just to name a few…


Cinco de Mayo has become more commercialized in the U.S. than in Mexico where it is more localized in its celebration. More on how Mexica celebrates this day next…

Photo by © Nicole Law

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

A minor misconception is the Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day.  Mexico’s Independence day is actually September 16th.  Cinco de Mayo is celebrating and remembering the Battle of Puebla  when Mexican forces confronted French forces, which were part of Napoleon III army during Franco-Mexico War.  The one day battle was won by Mexico.  This is not a major holiday in Mexico. The event is not even celebrated nationwide.  Cinco de Mayo is often just celebrated in the state of Puebla.

people near indian flag
Photo by © Ricardo Esquivel

Traditions in Mexico for celebrating Cinco de Mayo include military parades, recreation of the Battle of Puebla, and other festive events. The festivities are often celebrated without any alcohol.  This day has less of a commercial focus as it is not a federal holiday with offices, banks, and stores remaining open.


Plan Your Next Trip to Experience the Culture Heritage unique to both Mexico and the U.S. Go explore this great planet of ours. Thank you for reading.


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