Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Yes, that’s right. Cinco de Mayo is a (largely American) holiday celebrating Mexican resistance against French imperialism.
Contrary to a popular misconception, the date is *not* celebrating Mexican independence. Mexican independence is celebrated every year on September 16 (which, in the US, is National Guacamole Day, yum).
A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States. Cinco de Mayo is actually a much bigger celebration here in the US than anywhere in Mexico, other than in the state of Puebla.
At any rate, regardless of its initial meaning, Cinco de Mayo has evolved to become a fun celebration of Mexico — and especially of Mexican cuisine. We encourage you to browse our collection of Mexican recipes, and whip up a delicious Fiesta at home. You know you’d rather avoid the interminably long wait for a table* at Mexican chain restaurants on May 5.
I thought so.
*(and corn syrup-sweetened, made-from-a-mix Margaritas)