Originating in the 1860′s with Mexican-American communities in the American West, Southwest and Northwest, the American Cinco de Mayo began as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. Today, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is observed annually on May 5 as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for “fifth of May.”
The United States Congress issued a Concurrent Resolution on June 7, 2005, calling on the President of the United States to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
According to José Alamillo, professor of ethnic studies at Washington State University in Pullman, a 2006 study found there are more than 150 official Cinco de Mayo events across the country.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States have taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. They include displaying of banners and events highlighting Mexican culture, music and regional dancing, as well as school districts holding special events to educate students about its historical significance. In the U.S., commercial interests have capitalized on the celebration advertising Mexican products and services with an emphasis on beverages, food and music.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Share your Mexican heritage and use #CincodeMayo to post on social media.
Celebrated in Mexico as a commemoration of the Mexican army’s 1861 victory France during the Franco-Mexican War. The victory occurred at the Battle of Puebla between 6,000 French troops and small, under-supplied Mexican force of 2,000 men.
The victory was not the battle that won the war, but it held great symbolism for the Mexico during the war, but is minor holiday there and is not considered a federal holiday.
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