The History of Cinco de Mayo and How It’s Celebrated

There is more to this celebration of Mexican heritage than beer, mariachi bands and wild parties.

Cinco de Mayo has a deep history and continues to serve as a vehicle expressing Mexican culture, pride and values.

What’s the significance of Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico's unexpected victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

When and where is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo literally means "May 5th" in Spanish, which is when this celebration of Mexican heritage takes place each year.

Is Cinco de Mayo Mexico’s Independence Day?

No. Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day in the United States, but Mexican independence is actually celebrated on 16 September.

what is cinco de mayo

Cinco de Mayo marks Mexico's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla, but, for whatever reason, it is a drinking holiday in the United States.

Jessica LaVriega Monforti, Vice Provost at California State University, Channel Islands, said that Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated in California every year since its inception in 1863.

How did the holiday come to be celebrated in the United States?