Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican celebration that remembers a military victory against the French on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo means May the fifth in Spanish. It is not a public or a national holiday in Mexico. It is largely celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla, where the victory against French forces took place. Even though it is not a major holiday in Mexico, it is a well-known celebration. This is because Mexicans in the USA and other countries use it as a day to show their pride in their culture. Even non-Mexican Americans celebrate the day in the USA. Many people mistakenly believe Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s Independence Day. This is false. Mexican’s celebrate their nation’s independence on September the 16th.
Cinco de Mayo today is a much bigger holiday in North America than in Mexico. It has been celebrated in California since 1863. There are festivals and events all over the country to highlight Mexican culture. These include concerts, folk ballet and Mexican dancing. Mexican food and drink are also eaten and drunk in huge quantities. Many schools, especially those with large Mexican communities, take part in awareness activities to educate students about the importance of the day. One tradition does take place in Mexico every year. Mexican soldiers, sailors and air force pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag. This takes place in the capital Mexico City and in all other regional capitals.
Every year on the 5th of May, the custom in Mexico is to celebrate the day on a large-scale with attractions geared to educate the youth about the importance of this day. The exhibitions feature crafts and artworks which tell the history of this day and the food booths give sampling's of traditional Mexican fare such as Empanandas, Fajitas, Quesadillas, and Nachos. Mariachi bands stroll the street and the games and activities like "steal the sombrero" or the card game, "Mexican Loteria" are family-