Written By Ryan Barrett
How to celebrate cinco de mayo? A vibrant pallet of strong summer pastel colors comes whooshing by you, blowing your hair to one side. The dresses spin further tickling your face into a smile. Then galloping footsteps immediately caress your ears into a marching beat. The energetic burst of 2 dozen classical guitars meets a chorus of voices that sound like sweet war cries. These singing men don huge sombreros and look superhuman, but deep down you know they’re just mariachis. You turn around to orient yourself but are only blinded by a sea of Mexican flags. You finally catch your breath and sense of direction when your mouth suddenly falls open in amazement. Skeleton floats as big as giants parade past you like a forest of grim reapers. Someone then sticks a steaming rolled taco with creamy guacamole in your mouth. Guess they mistook your shock for hunger.
But now, you are satisfied. Not just in appetite but all the senses. For you have found yourself amid a Cinco de mayo parade. And this all sounds fantastical and something you’re familiar with. However, you might not exactly know what is Cinco de Mayo celebrated for. You’re far from alone! Cinco de Mayo is as well-known a holiday as Christmas or Halloween in the US. The meaning of Cinco de Mayo and its origins on the other hand are unfamiliar to most. Below, let’s look at the Cinco de Mayo meaning and significance. So the next time you find yourself surrounded by bright twirling dresses and blasting mariachis your elation will accompany meaningfulness. And for some deeper Cinco de Mayo meaning to your Cinco de Mayo shopping spree, check out the above coupon code!
What does Cinco de Mayo celebrate?
Cinco de Mayo has come to mean many things. First and foremost in Spanish ‘Cinco de Mayo’ is translated into May 5th. This day is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, as they’re both kinds of a big deal! It celebrates the date on which the Mexican army beat the French army. Now, a Cinco de Mayo celebration represents and feels like a joyous occasion that is very detached from war, as many independence days do. It feels now more like the afterparty of a great victory. Digest a mole-drenched taco to the vibrations of Mariachi orchestration. And for dessert feast your eyes on Mexican folk dancing that’s proliferated with delicious colors. Though these may not exactly unfold in the same way at any Cinco de Mayo party you’ve ever been to, they can come pretty close.
There may not be a whole band of mariachis or a troupe of dancers. But you can find one or two for a party to give it the Cinco de Mayo festival feel. Let’s look at some further aspects of this vibrant holiday. So that the next time you plan one you’ll be able to tick all the boxes on the list that is authenticity.
Cinco de Mayo Is All About Victory
On Mexican soil, the Mexican Army spanked the French army pretty badly. This was May 5th, and eventually known as Cinco de Mayo. Often Cinco de Mayo is mistaken to be Mexican Independence Day.
Though they are similar, as Mexican Independence Day also represents a victory, it is held on September 16th and represents when the Spanish were kicked out of Mexico in 1810.
In actuality, we can all thank Napoleon, the French general with an inferiority complex, for Cinco de Mayo. During the American Civil fight, Napoleon thought it was a good idea to turn the city of Puebla into a base for the Confederate Army. It was some diabolical scheme to take over North America with the Confederates. Being that Mexico didn’t want someone sleeping on their couch, let alone didn’t like the prospects of being enslaved, the Battle of Puebla ensued. As good often overcomes evil, Napoleon and his cheesy troupes were defeated. Subsequently, this is where the salsa-drenched and pinata-bashing holiday known as Cinco de Mayo began in the US.
Why is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in the United States?
One usually doesn’t ask ‘Is Cinco de Mayo celebrated in Mexico?’ But they should! Though it might be cause for some dropped jaws Cinco de Mayo isn’t as widely celebrated in Mexico as in the USA. This is because people save more of their party fuel for Mexican Independence Day. How the holy tamales did it come to the US then? Apparently, after the Mexicans living in California heard of the Cinco de Mayo victory they started to organize fiestas to funnel money back to Mexican soldiers. Then in 1933 the American president, Teddy ‘Boy’ Roosevelt, made Cinco de Mayo a household holiday by creating a ‘good neighbor’ policy. This ‘good neighbor’ policy was Roosevelt’s attempt to mend relations with Mexico. Still, even after this, the Cinco de Mayo of then looked far different than our modern incarnation.
Next time you crack open a cold Corona say ‘thank you’ to the bottle. For it was because American beer companies like Corona started marketing beer to Mexican communities in the states around the 1970s that our modern incarnation of Cinco de Mayo began to take shape. If you’re puzzled at how a beer company could popularize Cinco de Mayo consider this- in 2013 alone there were at least $600 million in beer sales on this one day. This is more than the super bowl or St. Patrick’s day! If you didn’t take Cinco de Mayo seriously before, it’s time to start!
Everyone Around The World Celebrates Cinco de Mayo
Though Cinco de Mayo isn’t as popular in Mexico, it is still a national holiday. Arguably, the biggest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the world are in Los Angeles. The fiestas are not just limited to the City of Angels. New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the UK are just some of the other countries that celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Like the US Cinco de Mayo was popularized in those countries due to the commercialization of beer! What we’re trying to say to all you beer drinkers out there: THIS IS YOUR HOLIDAY!
Some countries worldwide don’t celebrate exactly Cinco de Mayo, but something very close. Spain, for example, has a holiday called ‘The 2nd of May’. This also celebrates a war victory over, you guessed it, France. Undeniably one of the wackiest Cinco de Mayo festivals is in the Cayman Islands. Here there is an air guitar competition put on by the local Hard Rock Cafe to commemorate Cinco de Mayo. You might be scratching your head as to what this has to do with Cinco de Mayo. As are we all. It is quite cool, in a weird way to imagine people slaying an invisible axe like a gyrating Jimmy Page to Feliz Navidad.
The Colors of Cinco de Mayo
Traversing through a Cinco de Mayo parade or celebration your eyes will feel joyfully overloaded with color. Vibrant summer pastel patterns fly past you in a sea of Cinco de Mayo dress and garb. And considering this it might be hard to pinpoint the main Cinco de Mayo colors. But there are three. The colors of the Mexican flag- are red, green, and white. The red signifies the blood of the soldiers that died during the war. Green stands for hope and white for unity. One Cinco de Mayo food that encompasses these colors is called ‘chiles in nogada’. It’s an almond white sauce, over red pomegranates, and green chiles.
The Traditions of Cinco de Mayo
You can’t see. You feel the grip of the bat. You feel the whoosh as you miss the pinata. You listen closely to the chorus of voices around you for helpful hints. There are so many voices at once that they blend, weaving a web of incomprehensible mumbo jumbo. Then again, and the crack of dried paper rips next to your ear. A loud patter of plastic hits the concrete like a rain shower. You lift the blindfold to see the swarm of kids piling on the candy. The pinata is broken. Joy fills your face as you’ve taken part in a long-standing Cinco de Mayo tradition.
This statement makes you scratch your head. Tradition? There are no pinatas at my annual fiesta. That’s not traditional!
And you would no doubt be correct. Pinatas aren’t necessarily traditional to your Cinco de Mayo fiesta. There are many different ways people celebrate, none of them being the right or wrong way. There are many different traditions associated with Cinco de Mayo. A lot of these traditions are related to where you live. For example in Puebla, Mexico there is a huge reenactment of the battle and the defeat of the French. Many people in the town come to see this and it’s the main focus of the festival. On the other hand in the US, the festival revolves solely around eating and drinking. If you’re unsure of what to eat or drink, keep reading!
How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in 2023?
How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in 2023? How does the juiciness of a carne asada taco, or the powerful yet soothing guitars of traditional corridos music sound? Or even a big bowl of creamy guacamole? These are just a few of the many traditions people partake in every Cinco de Mayo. Now your head is spinning. Too many impossible ideas to pull off. How can I pull off all these ideas and make them seem traditional? And in my own home??? YES! Worry not! Below are a few easy ideas you can pull off in the office or at home to create the perfect Cinco de Mayo fiesta!
Make Traditional Food
Make Mexican food you say? But I can’t even fry an egg! Have no culinary fear! There are plentiful traditional Mexican dishes you can prepare that require anywhere from little to complex preparation. From something extremely easy, yet colorful and delicious try a layered dip. What’s wonderful about this is you can add as many layers as you want, each layer a different color. Say you wanted to replicate the colors of the Mexican flag, you could layer sour cream on top of salsa on top of the guacamole. There are no limits(other than dish size!) to how many layers you can add!
If you’re feeling a little more daring or you want to get your cook on try making traditional chilaquiles or tamales. Or for something just as a traditional easy-to-make molé is your winner. You can buy premade molé sauce in any supermarket. From there you simply cover it on any Mexican favorites such as barbacoa and serve it with tortillas!
Traditional Drinks Are All The Squeeze
There isn’t a more traditional Mexican drink than the margarita. How traditional you ask? 50% of the Cinco de Mayo drinks ordered are margaritas. That’s how traditional! Margaritas are one of these most fun drinks, and there are no limits to the flavor combinations. You can serve a cactus jalapeno or mango habanero margarita! If you’ve never made margaritas and are weary of trying stick to the basic lime margaritas. There are the most classic, easy-to-make, and arguably the best.
If you’re going to serve margaritas best to get something traditional yet modern to present them in! Say you make delicious margaritas but serve them in boring red plastic party cups. Your guests might judge your drinks before even taking a sip! For that our store carries a wide variety of vibrant plastic margarita glasses. These glasses will perfectly match any Cinco de Mayo color scheme. Additionally, they’re reusable so you can use them for many fiestas to come!
Create Cinco de Mayo Cards
A perfect fiesta needs a perfect invitation. Creating fun and festive Cinco de Mayo cards are not only simple Cinco de Mayo activities but can be a great family activity as well. You can design the cards as a birthday style or postcard style card. It’s up to you! Simple choose Mexican-themed designs to draw or cut and paste into each card with a warm greeting. It might even be worth learning happy Cinco de Mayo in Spanish to put into the cards to give them a more authentic feel. An excellent way to spice these cards up is to tape a small trinket or Cinco de Mayo party favor inside the card. Our shop carries a few different sets of Cinco de Mayo fiesta necklaces. Each set comes with multiple different designs and colors and is a perfect size to tape inside a card or envelope!
And if you’re feeling a bit weary of sending a physical card because of the pandemic, or you’d like to save paper, try an e-Card. These are great because they’re funny and very graphic, and your friends and loved ones will receive them instantaneously.
Pummel Many a Pinata
Excited faces move in closer. The stick swings and the faces jerk back. A little blindfolded bruiser lunges again, another miss. Another chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Then CRACK! The bat makes contact and the paper flesh of the pinata tears. A sprinkling of plastic candy wrappers patter the ground and little sugar-crazed zombies pile on top of each other in a candy grab. This is a classic time-honored tradition of the pinata!
History has a way of repeating itself. As does the whacking of a pinata. We have to repeatedly smack it to get the candy out! These vibrant and paper Cinco de Mayo decorations known as pinatas have been a part of Mexican and Cinco de Mayo traditions for a long time. Hundreds of years kind of a long time! (Talk about Spanish bringing it to Mexico and from China to Spain. Then intro store products.)
To be a part of this long-standing tradition get a pinata for your party. Heck, get two or three pinatas! Our store has more than a few colorful pinatas to choose from. From a colorful pin-the-tail on the donkey to gold donkeys to even a giant avocado pinata, adults at your party will even want to get in on the whacking action! And if you aren’t keen on putting candy in the pinata we have a unicorn pinata that comes with different accessories. From unicorn erasers to unicorn keychains your little ones are going to be whacking this extra hard when they find out what’s inside!
Have A Excellent Cinco de Mayo
Now, I think you know How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in 2023. Hopefully, the few suggestions above will put the ha in your Happy Cinco de Mayo! And that the Cinco de Mayo history will give you an idea that you’re not just celebrating a get-together with friends. You’re celebrating passed-down Mexican traditions and the victory of one of the most important battles in Mexican history. Finally, and most importantly, don’t stress over party planning. Check out our wide selection of Cinco de Mayo accessories and party favors! The muy caliente coupon code is waiting at the top of this article for some spicy Cinco de Mayo specials! Be warned though- it’ll drive you loco with savings!