Cinco de Mayo is coming up quick – this year it’s Thursday May 5. This festive holiday celebrates the unlikely victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla that occurred on May 5, 1862 under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin’s leadership during the Franco-American War. Ironically, it’s a rather minor holiday in Mexico, but in the United States it’s a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, according to History.com. People celebrate in many different ways, mainly with parades, mariachi musical performances and street festivals.
Check out these creative and unique ways to get into the spirit of Cinco de Mayo aside from having a margarita!
Throw a Party
Throwing a traditional Cinco de Mayo party is a great way to usher in the holiday, but don’t just stop at the mariachi music and margaritas. Go all-out by hiring a local mariachi band and serving up all the traditional foods of Mexico. From tacos and enchiladas to fajitas and fresh guacamole dip, you can immerse yourself and your guests in the spirit of the holiday. Guacamole is a traditional Mexican food made from avocados revered by the locals. Here’s a simple recipe.
Get the Kids Involved
Adorn your home with the traditional colors of Mexico: red, white and green. Make sombreros with the kids, make and color Mexican flags, make a simple paper mache pinata, and make your own maracas with those small boxes of raisins. Check out DLTK for more ideas.
Hold a Dance-Off
Learn traditional dances of Mexico, of which Jarabe is a common one. It also happens to be the national dance of this country – perhaps you might know it by its more common name, the Mexican hat dance? Take a lesson at a local dance studio to prepare or check out YouTube for a quick tutorial.
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Meantime, here are a few interesting facts about Cinco de Mayo:
- Many people mistakenly think it’s a celebration of Mexico’s independence but it’s not: that happened 50 years prior and takes place on September 16.
- It’s not a federal holiday in Mexico
- The largest celebration of Cinco de Mayo takes place in Los Angeles and not Mexico