Mexico, United States
Cinco de Mayo (“Fifth of May” in Spanish) is a national holiday in Mexico; however, it is celebrated mainly in the state of Puebla. It commemorates the unlikely victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French expeditionary forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Even though outnumbered by more than 1,000 men, Zaragoza’s forces prevailed against the better-armed French soldiers, assisted by their familiarity with the local terrain and a stampede of cattle set off by local residents.
In the United States (especially in the Southwest), Cinco de Mayo has evolved more into a general celebration of Mexican/Latino heritage, much like St. Patrick’s Day celebrates Irish ancestry. People of all ethnicities celebrate the day of fun and good cheer with Mexican food, folk dances and colorful costumes. Instead of green beer, margaritas are the favorite drink of the day. Olé! Let the party begin!
Check it out:
Cinco De Mayo Barbie Doll. The Cinco De Mayo Barbie doll wears a beautiful folkloric dress with ruffles and ribbons inspired by the colors of the Mexican flag. A traditional hairstyle with braids and festive embellishments add the final touch.
Burro Piñata. It isn’t a party until candy and toys rain from the sky. Fill this piñata with your preferred candy and small toys (filler not included). Measures 23″x12″x6″ and comes with a built-in, sturdy plastic loop for hanging. Suggested for up to eight kids or four adults.
Viva Mexico!: The Story of Benito Juarez and Cinco De Mayo (Stories of America). Grades 2-4. An easy biography combined with a brief and accurate explanation of the Battle of Puebla, which occurred during Juarez’s presidency and is the basis for the holiday celebrated on the fifth of May.