Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a yearly celebration which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863.
More popular in the United States than Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture.
The day gained nationwide popularity beyond those of Mexican-American heritage in the 1980s due to advertising campaigns by beer, wine, and tequila companies.
Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.
© Vivian J. Grant.