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Arts Culture 5 Facts About Cinco de Mayo

5 Facts About Cinco de Mayo

5 Facts About Cinco de Mayo
By Ryanne Co
By Ryanne Co
May 04, 2020
Everyone’s heard of Cinco de Mayo, but less people know what it’s actually about. Learn about why this holiday is more than just tequila and guac — and how it became the celebration it is today.

Banderitas, Cuervo stands, and a guy in mariachi holding a Mexican flag: that’s what Cinco de Mayo looked like last year in Poblacion. This year, it’s a little different do you celebrate tequila while on a liquor ban? Kidding. We know that’s besides the point.

Last year, all everyone wanted was an excuse to drink but this year, we’re stepping up by getting down to what does this all mean. Here’s a quick historical summary of what Cinco de Mayo is all about! Hint: it’s not (just) tequila. 

Read also: After A Long Day Of Lockdown, How "Essential" Is A Drink?

Cinco de Mayo Celebrates Mexican Victory Over France

Cinco de Mayo doesn’t celebrate Mexican independence but it does commemorate its victory over France at The Battle of Puebla, which took place on 5 May 1862. Although it was an underdog victory and rather short-lived (as France later occupied Mexico for a few years), the victory was still a huge morale booster for the Mexicans remains a point of pride up to this day — obviously!

The Chicano Movement Embraced It Right Away

The Chicano Movement was a civil rights movement that aimed to equalise the standing of Mexican Americans in the society. In the 1960s and 1970s, activists embraced the Cinco de Mayo tradition with parades and protests as they began seeing parallels between their underdog victory against France and the poor treatment they received from racists in the United States. Although the movement dissipated somewhat in the 1980s, the Cinco de Mayo tradition continued to live on, especially as beer brands such as Corona adapted it into their marketing strategies. 

It's A Big Deal In Los Angeles

There’s a thriving community of Latinos in Los Angeles, so it’s perhaps not surprising that they usually host the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States every year. (Although this year is probably going to be different.) 

It's All About The Avocados

Tequila is a huge part of Cinco de Mayo but it’s also about the guac. According to the California Avocado Commission, in 2017, Americans consumed 87.3 million pounds of avocados in just one day — the fifth of May. 

Here’s What Mexicans Actually Eat On Cinco de Mayo...

Mole de poblano and chiles en nogada are more traditional foods to eat if you’re looking for an authentic celebration. Mole sauce is a traditional marinade you can smother over chicken or turkey that makes for a delicious meal. Meanwhile, chiles en nogada is a stuffed pepper dish that mixes chillies, nuts, pomegranate seeds, and spices to create a dish that incorporates colours of the Mexican flag. 


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