Are you looking for a way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles this year?
The city offers an array of exciting events and traditional Mexican meals that will help you ring in the festivities.
Whether you want to honor the historical significance behind Cinco de Mayo or have fun with some friends, there is something for everyone this May 5th!
Keep reading to learn more about Cinco De Mayo party ideas and make your celebration unique and memorable.
What is Cinco de Mayo? The Brief History
Cinco De Mayo history spans back to the old days. It is a holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
At the time, Mexico faced financial difficulties and suspended payments on its foreign debts. In response, France, Spain, and Britain sent forces to Mexico to demand payment. While Spain and Britain negotiated with Mexico and eventually withdrew their forces, France saw an opportunity to establish a new empire in Mexico and continued its invasion.
On May 5, 1862, a small Mexican army of about 4,500 soldiers under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated a much larger French army of about 6,000 soldiers at the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican victory was significant because the French army was considered one of the strongest military powers in the world at the time.
Cinco de Mayo became a recognized holiday in Mexico in 1867, but it was not widely celebrated outside of the state of Puebla until the Chicano Movement of the 1960s. Today, people in the United States widely celebrate it to recognize Mexican culture and heritage.
Cinco de Mayo Facts
- Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. Many people mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is the day Mexico declared independence from Spain, but that’s actually September 16th. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
- Cinco de Mayo celebrations are more common in the United States than in Mexico. While Cinco de Mayo is an important holiday in Puebla, where the battle took place, it’s not a national holiday in Mexico. In the United States, however, it has become a widely celebrated day.
- The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world takes place in Los Angeles. The city draws hundreds of thousands each year with its live music, food, and carnival-style games.
- Cinco de Mayo has also been used to promote civil rights. During the Chicano Movement of the 1960s, activists used Cinco de Mayo to promote Mexican-American pride and fight for civil rights.
- The Battle of Puebla was a David vs. Goliath type of battle. The Mexican army was greatly outnumbered and outgunned by the French, considered one of the strongest military powers in the world at the time. Despite the odds, the Mexican army prevailed.
Enjoying Ways Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles
As we mentioned, Los Angeles is just a fantastic place to celebrate this meaningful day with various cultural and festive activities.
One of the most popular ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles is to attend the annual Cinco de Mayo parade. The parade features colorful floats, live music, and dancing.
Olvera Street is a historic district in downtown Los Angeles that celebrates Mexican culture year-round. On Cinco de Mayo, Olvera Street hosts a festival with live music, food, and crafts.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations often include traditional Mexican foods and drinks. You can enjoy the day with some solid Cinco de Mayo recipes, including foods like tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, and churros. And popular drinks are margaritas, tequila, mezcal, and Mexican beer. And you can visit awesome Cinco de Mayo restaurants around.
Cinco de Mayo events also allow you to embrace the culture as a whole experience. Also, many museums and cultural centers in Los Angeles host special Cinco de Mayo activities, such as art exhibits, folk dancing, and educational programs.
If you prefer a more intimate celebration, you can host a backyard party with friends and family. Serve traditional Mexican dishes, smoke a solid cannabis strain, play mariachi music, and decorate with colorful papel picado banners and flowers.
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Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!