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Holiday Highlight: Cinco de Mayo

A colorful building in the city of Puebla
Puebla, Mexico | Photo by Francisco Soto/Creative Commons

Cinco de Mayo is commonly misunderstood as Mexico’s Independence Day, but the reality behind the holiday is much more fascinating. Annually celebrated on May 5, festivities commemorate the Mexican victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Mexican war. Recreations of the event are displayed in the city of Puebla on the anniversary of the battle, which was won under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Though the holiday is not observed by most of Mexico, it is largely celebrated in the United States in solidarity with Mexican and Mexican-American residents to celebrate their Mexican heritage.

The observance of Cinco de Mayo is accompanied by parades, music and various celebrations. Traditional Mexican dancing is seen along with Mexican folk music and mariachi bands. The colors of the Mexican flag, red, yellow and blue, are also the traditional celebratory colors of this holiday. Balloons, streamers, confetti and other decorations are used to set a festive atmosphere.

To anyone who has Mexican heritage, be sure to have a great Cinco de Mayo celebration and enjoy lots of laughs and pride in Mexican culture.

By Rae Hargis, Contributing Writer

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