Celebrating Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration to commemorate the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the Battle of Puebla that occurred in 1862 under General Ignacio Zaragoza. It is also widely celebrated to honor Mexico following its independence from Spain on September 16, 1821. As part of a resistance movement against the controlling government of Spain, Mexico lost many lives during the battle but fought courageously against oppressive forces. This victory is therefore celebrated among Hispanic families to commemorate the brave actions of General Zaragoza’s army and to unite people of Mexican descent.
Cinco de Mayo, or May 5th, is celebrated in both Mexico and the United States, but more so in the latter. Both countries partake in festivities where the Mexican culture is showcased through traditional Mexican food, music, and dancing, etc. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated among cities bordering Mexico and other parts of the U.S. that house large populations of Mexican-Americans. Nonetheless, this traditional Mexican holiday provides for a fun and enjoyable time to celebrate the Mexican culture, as well as to commemorate the history behind how it all began.
This day is important because it brings together individuals who share the same culture and allows them to celebrate with traditional festivities that make Cinco de Mayo an everlasting traditional Mexican holiday. More significantly, this day in history allows for families of Mexican descent to ensure that Mexican history remain a part of society in the United States. The Battle of Puebla in which the Mexican army defeated the French is an important moment in history, not only for it’s symbolic nature of commemorating Mexico’s resistance to oppressive forces, but also in bringing together the Mexican population for a memorable day of dancing, eating, and most importantly, celebrating the history of Mexican culture everywhere.
By Samantha Salazar | Photo Credit: Melissa Guerra