10 Fun Facts about Cinco de Mayo
- Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the fifth of May) is a Mexican national holiday which commemorates the Battle of Puebla where the Mexicans triumphed against France in 1862.
- The battle shows the triumph of the underdog as 4,000 Mexican soldiers fended off 6,500 French soldiers. The victory was mainly a morale booster; it took another 6 years to rout the French altogether.
- Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.
- The celebration is biggest in Puebla but is also widely celebrated in the US. Some believe that’s because of people in former territories of Mexico continue to celebrate it. The celebrations continue to spread, with more than 150 celebrations noted in a 2006 study.
- In Puebla wearing Western costume is part of the celebration.
- Many use the day to celebrate the Mexican way of life. Typical celebrations include festivals, parades, dancing, mariachi bands and Mexican food and beer.
- In Chandler, Arizona, the day’s celebrations include Chihuahua dog races and the crowning of a Chihuahua king and queen.
- The first Cinco de Mayo celebration in the US took place in Southern California in 1863.
- The biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world takes place in Los Angeles. It’s called Fiesta Broadway and is a huge street party attended by around 500,000 people.
- Cinco de Mayo is also marked outside Mexico and the US in places including Vancouver, Canada, the Caribbean, Malta and Brisbane, Australia.
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