Cinco de Mayo 2012: History, Facts and Recipes for Celebration
Cinco de Mayo is Saturday, May 5th, 2012. History, Facts and recipes for the Mexican holiday are below.
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo means the "fifth of May" in Spanish. Many Americans believe that Cinco de Mayoommemorates Mexico's independence from Spain. In fact, it began as a local holiday that celebrated Mexico's defeat of the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
The History of Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War between 1861 and 1867. Although it wasn't a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, the Mexican army's' success at Puebla represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. Six years later, thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War and France withdrew.
Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where the Mexican army's unlikely triumph occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.
Cinco de Mayo Facts
- In Puebla and in many USA cities with large Mexican populations, there are parades, dancing and festivals.
- In addition to its importance in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is significant to all Americans because it marks the last time that any foreign power has acted the aggressor on North American soil.
- The largest Cinco de Mayo event in the world is held in Los Angeles, California, where more than 600,000 people celebrate with music and food. The whole event is called Festival de Fiesta Broadway.
- Despite a common misconception, Cinco De Mayo does not celebrate Mexico's Independence Day, which takes place on Sept. 16.
Recipes for Cinco de Mayo
- Mexican Beans
- Rice, Chicken and Beans "Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles"
- Beef Taco Skillet
- Mexican Bean Salad
Cinco de Mayo Margarita Recipes
You can't have Cinco de Mayo without Margaritas, which was pretty much Mexico's gift to America after helping them win the war against France.
Or you can find out how to make your own margarita.