What Do You Think Cinco de Mayo Celebrates?

Discover the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo and why it is celebrated. Learn about the Battle of Puebla, unity, pride, celebrations, and the commercialization of the holiday.


Cinco de Mayo is a popular Mexican holiday that is celebrated in the United States and other countries around the world. Despite its widespread recognition, many people are unaware of the true meaning behind this festive day. In this article, we will explore the origins of Cinco de Mayo and what it truly celebrates.

The Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This victory was a significant moment in Mexican history, as it demonstrated the country’s strength and resilience against a larger and more powerful nation. While the victory was not a decisive one in the overall war against the French, it was a symbolic and morale-boosting win for the Mexican people.

Unity and Pride

One of the key themes of Cinco de Mayo is unity and pride. The holiday celebrates the courage and determination of the Mexican soldiers who fought bravely at the Battle of Puebla. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of standing together in the face of adversity and defending one’s homeland. Cinco de Mayo is a day to honor the Mexican heritage and culture that has played a significant role in shaping the identity of the country.


In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is often associated with lively celebrations that include parades, music, dancing, and traditional Mexican food and drinks. Many cities across the country host festivals and events to commemorate the holiday and showcase Mexican culture. While the holiday is not widely celebrated in Mexico outside of the state of Puebla, it has become a popular cultural event in the U.S. and other countries with large Mexican populations.


Over the years, Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly commercialized, with businesses capitalizing on the holiday to promote sales and events. While some view this as a way to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, others criticize the commercialization of the holiday as a misrepresentation of its true meaning. It is important to remember the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo and the reason why it is celebrated in the first place.


In conclusion, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla and serves as a symbol of unity, pride, and resilience. While the holiday has evolved over time and is now widely recognized as a day of celebration and festivity, it is important to remember its historical roots and the significance of the events that led to its creation. Whether you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a traditional parade and fiesta or simply take a moment to reflect on its meaning, it is a day to honor Mexican culture and heritage.

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