Let's be real...........most people don't need any justification to throw a party or have a good time. That said, holidays are always a fun time to gather people together and Cinco de Mayo is just another reason for people to do that! Frankly, most people in the United States don't know the reason behind "Cinco de Mayo", but the words represent much more than the obvious – it's not just the 5th of May! Clear back on May 5th, 1862 the Mexicans defeated the French forces at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War that lasted from 1861-1867. This highly unlikely victory became the impetus for Cinco de Mayo. In Mexico, even though it is not a widely celebrated holiday, celebrations can include mariachi performances, parades and street festivals surrounding food. Of course, in America where there are large populations of Mexican-Americans the celebration has crossed the border and has become a fabulous day for festive gathering, where good food is shared and lots of beer and margaritas are drank!
Often people think of Cinco de Mayo as Mexico's Independence day. But don't confuse Cinco de Mayo with the September 16th Mexican Independence Day celebration – they are not the same. Unfortunately, after the Mexicans defeated France at Puebla, that incensed the French and they sent more troops to Mexico and eventually Puebla and Mexico City were retaken, slightly negating the euphoria of the unexpected, but thrilling defeat at Puebla on Cinco de Mayo.
In reality the Cinco de Mayo holiday is actually celebrated more in the United States than Mexico. It has become a favorite of many Americans, but especially college students who love any excuse to drink beer and imbibe tequila. It is a festive holiday in the United States – one that quite often isn't even mentioned in some parts of Mexico, except maybe Puebla. Interesting fact: May 5th is a non-working day in Mexico (holidays) as indicated by the Mexican Labor Laws, so it is not an officially celebrated holiday.
Nevertheless, it is a holiday, especially here in the U.S. where you could take the opportunity to decorate a small tree of Mexican themed ornaments. See below for some fun ideas!
An easy way to decorate for your Cinco de Mayo themed party is to find some sombreros, serapes, red, white and green streamers, pinatas for hanging decor and then find a branch or use a small tabletop Christmas tree and fill it with Mexican themed ornaments which you can find listed on our Cinco de Mayo page on our website. We even cut the top off a sombrero so that we can insert a bowl of salsa or guacamole in the opening and fill the brim with tortilla chips!
Here are a couple of images to get you inspired for the celebration!