The History of Cinco de Mayo


It’s that time of the year again! The streets are filled with vibrant colors, the sounds of mariachi music fill the air, and delicious Mexican food is being devoured by all. Yes, you guessed it right – we’re talking about Cinco de Mayo! 

While many Americans celebrate this holiday every year without really knowing its origin, there’s a rich history behind it that deserves to be explored. So let’s delve into the fascinating story behind Cinco de Mayo and discover why it holds such significance in both Mexico and the United States. Don’t forget to get in touch with your loved ones via KalamTime!

The Battle of Puebla

On May 5th, 1862, a small Mexican army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín faced the French forces at the Battle of Puebla. The French army was larger in number and better equipped as compared to their Mexican counterparts. However, General Zaragoza’s troops were highly motivated and determined to defend their homeland against foreign invaders.

Despite being outnumbered, the Mexicans fought bravely and managed to defeat the French army after a fierce battle that lasted for several hours. This victory is widely regarded as a symbolic triumph of Mexican patriotism over foreign aggression.

The Battle of Puebla became an important source of inspiration for Mexicans struggling against oppression from colonial powers. It also marked a turning point in Mexico’s struggle for independence and sovereignty.

While Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico (except for the state of Puebla), it remains an important day in Mexican history that celebrates their cultural identity and resilience against adversity.

Why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States

Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in the United States, but it is widely celebrated across the country. The reason for this celebration lies in the history of Mexican-American relations. After Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, tensions grew between Mexico and the United States over territory disputes.

In 1861, Mexico was struggling to pay off debts owed to European countries including France who decided to take advantage of this situation by invading Mexico. On May 5th, 1862, the Mexican army under General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

Although Cinco de Mayo did not mark an end to foreign intervention in Mexico’s affairs nor did it prevent France from eventually conquering much of Mexico, it became a symbol of Mexican resistance against imperialism.

In modern times, Cinco de Mayo represents a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage among Mexicans living abroad as well as non-Mexican Americans alike. From parades and street fairs to restaurant promotions and bar crawls – America has embraced Cinco de Mayo with open arms!

How to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a festive day that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces in 1862. This holiday has become popular in many countries around the world, including the United States.

If you’re looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, there are plenty of ways to do so! One way is to attend a local parade or festival. Many cities hold events with live music, food vendors, and cultural performances.

Another way to celebrate is by hosting your own party at home. Decorate your space with bright colors and traditional Mexican decorations like papel picado and piñatas. Serve up some classic dishes like tacos, guacamole, and margaritas for an authentic experience.

For those who prefer a more low-key celebration, why not try cooking up some new recipes at home? There are plenty of delicious Mexican-inspired dishes to choose from that will make your taste buds dance!

Whatever way you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, remember that it’s all about embracing Mexico’s rich culture and history while having fun with friends and family.

Popular Cinco de Mayo foods

Cinco de Mayo is a day that celebrates Mexican culture and heritage, and what better way to do so than by enjoying some delicious Mexican cuisine? There are many traditional dishes that people enjoy on this festive holiday. Here are just a few examples of popular Cinco de Mayo foods:

Tacos: Tacos are the quintessential Mexican dish that everyone loves. They consist of a warm tortilla filled with various ingredients such as seasoned meat, beans, lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Quesadillas: Quesadillas are another popular dish made from two flour or corn tortillas filled with cheese and other savory ingredients like chicken or beef.

Enchiladas: Enchiladas consist of rolled-up tortillas stuffed with meat or vegetables which is then covered in tomato sauce and melted cheese.

Guacamole: A true staple dip for any Cinco de Mayo gathering! Guacamole consists primarily of mashed avocado mixed together with diced tomatoes, onions, peppers and lime juice.

Chips & Salsa: A simple yet classic appetizer for any party occasion. Tortilla chips served alongside fresh salsa make an easy snack option for guests to munch on while they wait for the main course!

These authentic dishes offer up tons of flavor that will have your taste buds dancing in delight. Whether you’re celebrating at home or dining out at your favorite restaurant – these mouth-watering dishes should definitely be part of your Cinco de Mayo plans!


As we’ve seen, Cinco de Mayo has a rich history that goes beyond just being an excuse to enjoy Mexican food and drinks. It’s a day that celebrates the bravery of Mexican soldiers who fought for their freedom against all odds. While it may not be as widely celebrated in Mexico as it is in the United States, it remains an important part of both cultures.

Whether you choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with traditional foods like tacos and guacamole or by learning more about Mexican history, this holiday provides us with an opportunity to appreciate the diverse cultural heritage of our neighbors to the south. So next time May 5th rolls around, take some time to reflect on what makes this day significant and consider joining in on the festivities!