How Cinco de Mayo became a U.S. holiday

Every year on May 5, fiesta lovers across the United States gather to celebrate the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo—literally “May 5” in Spanish. And some U.S. partygoers may be surprised to learn that Cinco de Mayo history is short on beer, long on bloodshed.

Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which is actually September 16. On that date in 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spanish rule.

Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates another Mexican army victory. Here’s what to know about the holiday—and how it became more widely celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated only sporadically in Mexico, mainly in the southern town of Puebla and a few larger cities.

However, Cinco de Mayo rapidly gained popularity in the U.S., where changing demographics have helped to turn the holiday into a cultural event. Latinos are the largest minority in the U.S. today with 62.1 million people, representing 18.9 percent of the population, according to 2020 Census data.

Cinco de Mayo gained its first popularity in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s, partly because of an outpouring of brotherly love, José Alamillo, who was then a professor of ethnic studies at Washington State University, told National Geographic in 2006.

“The reason it became more popular was in part because of the Good Neighbor policy,” he said, referring to a U.S. government effort at the time to reach out to neighboring countries.

“Cinco de Mayo’s purpose was to function as a bridge between these two cultures,” Alamillo said.

The origins of Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo traces its origins to the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of far better equipped French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Emperor Napoleon III had sent French troops to Mexico to secure dominance over the former Spanish colony and install one of his relatives, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as its ruler. Led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, a Mexican militia raced to fortify the city of Puebla against the advancing French troops.

Zaragoza won the battle, but the Mexicans ultimately lost the war. Maximilian became Mexico’s emperor for three years before the country reclaimed its independence.

How Cinco de Mayo is celebrated today

Then came the 1980s, and the commercialization of Cinco de Mayo.

This, Alamillo said, is when the meaning of Cinco de Mayo changed from community self-determination to a drinking holiday for many people.

He says U.S. corporations, particularly those selling alcohol, were eager to tap into the expanding Hispanic population in the U.S.

“It’s not just the large number of Hispanics but also that it’s a very young population that is particularly receptive to advertisers,” Alamillo said. “Cinco de Mayo became a vehicle to tap into that market.”

Today, most Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo by indulging in a glut of tacos, tequila, and beer. In fact, in recent years Cinco de Mayo beer sales have outpaced both St. Patrick’s Day and the Super Bowl.

But many communities still do honor the holiday with festivals, parades, and other events honoring the richness of Mexican-American culture and heritage.

Join Creative Personnel in celebrating Cinco de Mayo by unleashing your creativity and talent!

Get ready to salsa into success this Cinco de Mayo with Creative Personnel! 🎉🌟 Whether you’re looking to find the perfect role to showcase your skills or seeking top talent to elevate your team, let’s make this fiesta a memorable one together. Embrace the spirit of innovation and opportunity with Creative Personnel. Contact us now and let’s turn your career dreams into reality! 💼💃

Contact us today and let’s fiesta with your future success! 🎉🌟

#joboffer #jobapplication #staffing #jobagency #job #jobboard #staffingagency #jobs #highskillednobs #creativepersonnel #creative #personnel #jobsnearme #hiring #hiringnearme #usa #illinois #available #ProfessionalSkills #CareerDevelopment #SkillBuilding #WorkplaceSkills #JobSkills #EmployabilitySkills #SoftSkills #HardSkills #LeadershipSkills #CommunicationSkills #ProblemSolving #Teamwork #Adaptability #TimeManagement #CriticalThinking