Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) commemorates a small battle that happened in the Mexican state of Puebla in 1862, according to online resources. Today, El Dia de la Battalla de Puebla celebrates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin.
But, counter to popular belief — other than in Puebla — Cinco de Mayo is not a major holiday for most Mexicans.
They give their Independence Day on Sept. 16 – the equivalent of our Fourth of July – much more acknowledgement and celebration.
“I started to celebrate Cinco de Mayo when I moved to the U.S.,” says Evelyn Ramo, a Granby resident who hails from Mexico City. “Mexicans have a lot of pride in their country, and Cinco de Mayo gives us a chance to show off and share our culture and heritage.”
According to Ramo, some of the things that Mexicans do on Cinco de Mayo include cooking traditional dishes such as pozole, enchiladas, tamales and mole. And what celebration of Mexico would be complete without mucho cervezas (beers), margaritas and tequila shots? They take to the streets with their families to watch parades, dance and watch fireworks.
In the U.S. there are similar festivities, but up in the high country, the fifth of May falls during “mud season.” For more rowdy celebrations of Mexican heritage, visit Civic Center Park in Denver for parades, dancing and Mexican food and drink on both May 4 and 5.