Cinco de Mayo: Fiesta Fun!

Check out these surprising facts about this celebration.

You might hear about Cinco de Mayo parties. But even though celebrations of Cinco de Mayo (which translates to the Fifth of May) originated in Mexico, the day is more popular in the United States!

So what does Cinco de Mayo celebrate? On the morning of May 5, 1862, 6,000 French troops stormed the Mexican city of Heróica Puebla de Zaragoza to bring it under French rule. The Mexican soldiers were outnumbered, but they fiercely fought back. By early evening, the French had retreated.

Now the people of Puebla, Mexico, observe the holiday Cinco de Mayo to celebrate this victory. The holiday is also widely celebrated in the United States. Americans use the celebration to honor the battle as well as Mexican culture.

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Chihuahuas (a breed that originated in Mexico) race each other for fun—and to raise money for charity—during the Running of the Chihuahuas in Washington, D.C.

In the United States, people attend parades with colorfully dressed dancers, listen to lively Mexican folk music called mariachi, and eat millions of avocados in traditional eats such as guacamole. Washington, D.C., even holds the Running of the Chihuahuas, where Chihuahuas (a breed that originated in Mexico) race each other for fun. Cinco de Mayo might be celebrated on the fifth day of May, but it gets a ten on the fun scale.