A Brief History of Cinco de Mayo

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Margaritas Not Included

For most Americans, Cinco de Mayo is an excuse to drink $5 margarita pitchers at noon. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented holidays stateside. Blame it on the margaritas, but most (non-Mexican) Americans think of it as a Mexican July 4th when in fact, Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16. To justify a reason to party on “Cinco de Drink-o”, we have to look at Mexico’s rich and interesting history.

¡Viva Mexico! 

This American drinking holiday actually commemorates the unlikely win of the Mexican army over the formidable French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This day still holds importance in Mexican communities here in the U.S. as well as in Mexico, especially in the Mexican state of Puebla and the city of the same name. Although, it might be a more prolific celebration in the U.S. due to clever marketing and commercialization, it is still recognized as a holiday to celebrate culture and heritage.

Not Your Average Holiday

The message behind this holiday is motivation and prevailing under unlikely circumstances. Mexican Americans, Latinos and everyone alike can find inspiration through this message. So, between sips of frozen margarita and piñata swings, remember our connection to our neighbors to the south on this holiday and outside of it.