Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Exploring the holiday from its creation to its modern celebrations.


Photo by Sanda Gabriel on Unsplash.

Puebla, Mexico the historic city where Cinco De Mayo originated.

When hearing the words “Cinco de Mayo” one of the first things you may think of is burritos, sombreros, or a fun taco Tuesday. But it is so much more than that. This Mexican holiday is an annual May 5 celebration. 

Starting in 1862 when the French fought to conquer the state of Puebla, it was a classic und

Hollee Seaward, Journalism and Communications major, had an incomplete view of the holiday. (Courtesy Photo from Isabella B.)

erdog tale, with the French fully expecting to win, but in the end, it was the Mexican Army who won. 

Not many people know what this celebration is, let’s see what someone here at Everett Community College “thinks” Cinco de Mayo is. “It is when Mexico gained its independence,“ said Hollee Seaward. Not quite.

It’s okay to have this misconception because we will inform you.

But now, let’s talk about what Cinco de Mayo is and how Poblanos celebrate it. It is the day in 1862 where the French were fighting to take over the state of Puebla, but in a surprising turn of events, the Mexican Army won at the historic Battle of Puebla. Every year on May 5, 1862 this victory is observed. Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated by all Mexicans in Mexico or here in the United States, but it is a prevalent cultural holiday. Puebla is the state that truly holds the most pride and affection for the day.

Emilia Sanchez Camacho expresses pride for her country. (Courtesy Photo from Emilia Sanchez Camacho.)

Fellow Poblana and Business major, Emilia Sanchez Camacho, expressed what Cinco de Mayo means to her, “It just represents the pride that I have for my country and where I am from.” Pride is a central theme in this holiday similar to Independence Day for Americans.

Every year a fair is held in Puebla city, where you can find so many rides and delicious food, such as the fried up chalupas, the crunchy Cemitas and creamy Chile en Nogada. 

One of the dishes that is recognized in Puebla is Mole Poblano. It is a sweet and spicy chocolate sauce that goes on top of chicken with a side of rice. This meal is often eaten during this holiday, and if you were to ask any poblano about “Mole Poblano” They will fill up with joy and start craving it in their mouths. 

Mole poblano, a rich sweet and spicy sauce made of a variety of chiles poblanos served over chicken and accompanied with a bed of rice on the side. (Vicky Martinez)

There is also a parade that starts on Puebla’s 43rd W. St to 18th W. St. across the boulevard, “Héroes del 5 de Mayo.” While the parade is going, you can watch floats go down the street that represent historical places in the state of Puebla. With the floats and behind them is music, dancers and more. 

The type of dances that are performed is folklore dances. When usually the women wear big and colorful dresses that they hold from the sides while swinging it across them and tap dance to the music, for example, “Que Chula es Puebla.”  Which translates to, “How beautiful is Puebla.”

For this celebration, the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Miguel Barbosa Huerta, the governor of Puebla, both go down to celebrate. 

But due to the global pandemic, in the year 2020 and this year, the governor of Puebla, announced on

The Mexican Marines walking in order and honoring the people who died in the battle of Puebla. (Screenshot from “Así fue el Desfile del 5 de Mayo 2019 en Puebla” Youtube video.)

March 22, that there will be no fair this year to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This change is due to the safety precautions they’re trying to enforce due to COVID-19. Everyone will probably be safely celebrating from their own homes listening to mariachi on full volume. 

This holiday is special to poblano’s hearts, it invokes a feeling of pride that they will remember every year and celebrate it with tradition, food and lots of dancing. Come join and celebrate with them, you can celebrate by eating cultural foods such as “Mole Poblano” at any poblano restaurant. When the global pandemic is no longer here, you best believe Puebla will come back better than ever to celebrate.