Some links on Cinco de Mayo

A woman and girl wearing Jalisco dresses pose for a photo at a Kansas City Cinco de Mayo celebration (1998)

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated predominately in the US by people of Mexican heritage. It takes place on 5th May (hence the name—Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for 5th of May) and commemorates Mexico’s victory over at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

It’s important to note that Cinco de Mayo is not the same as Mexican Independence Day which takes place on 16th September. In Puebla, people reenact the battle and perform in parades dressed as both Mexican and French soldiers. In the US, Cinco de Mayo performers dance, sing, and celebrate Mexican culture. However, there are concerns that the holiday is more of an Americanised commercial day in modern days compared to its origins:

Cinco de Mayo celebrations have become more popular in the United States than in Mexico. In the past few decades, this historic day has changed from a regional celebration of Mexican American culture into nationwide Latino/a holiday hijacked by the alcohol industry and other commercial interests. […] Using content analysis of Cinco de Mayo advertisements in magazines, billboards, liquor ads, and store displays from 2000 to 2006, five mediated representations emerged: Mexico’s Fourth of July, Mexican St. Patrick’s Day, Drink de Mayo, Sexism in a Bottle, and Mexican Otherness. These representations are anchored in a new racism ideology that emphasizes cultural difference, individualism, liberalism, and colorblindness, which reinforce existing racial inequalities. The implications of the alcohol industry’s Cinco de Mayo advertisements is the increased targeting of Latino/a youth from working-class communities with high rates of alcohol-related violent deaths and illnesses.

The abstract from “Cinco de Mayo, Inc.: reinterpreting Latino culture into a commercial holiday“, by Jose Alamillo

I thought it’d be cool to post some interesting links on Cinco de Mayo and its various traditions so here they are:


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