The word Cinco de Mayo means ' the fifth of May' in Spanish. This day is celebrated to commemorate the Mexican victory in the battle of Pleuba. The Mexican army under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin defeated the French army at the capital city of Pleuba and resisted the French invasion in the year 1862. This victory of a smaller army against a larger and well equipped one is celebrated with passion and pride in Mexico and the United states.
Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday in Mexico. The day is celebrated all over Mexico and the most passionate celebration occurs in the capital city of Pleuba. In America, Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in the state California, though today it is celebrated all over the United States with much enthusiasm. This fun day is observed by honoring the Mexican traditions and customs.
The Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate by having the tasty Mexican food, dressing up and dancing to the traditional Mexican music. The celebration is centered on the color of Mexican flag and three three colors, green, white and red are used in dresses, decorations and everywhere it is found to be appropriate. It is a day for party and feast and the Mexican beer is the highlight of every Cinco de Mayo party.
The activities planned on the Cinco de Mayo are centered on the significance and history of the day. The main objective behind the activities planned for the day is to create awareness and to educate the youth and kids about the importance of the day, it also reminds the older citizen about the traditions and practices they had seen or heard in their childhood. The activities are a one day opportunity to live, eat, sing and dance in the very Mexican way.
On the festive day, a lot of fun filled activities arranged by many groups and associations. The Mexican food, beer, dance and singing are the spotlights of many events.
Singing and dancing competitions are held on the day, traditional folk dance and singing being the theme. The participants are required to dress up in the traditional outfit and dance to the traditional music. Dress up and beauty queen contest are also organized in the week. Food and cultural display activities are arranged to observe the day. People also decorate their houses and neighborhood using bright red chili pepper, decorated lanterns, lights and balloons. Such activities are a fun way to celebrate and also help to make the people more aware of the traditional cultures.
Other fun activities are also planned to celebrate the day, but may not have much connection to the Mexican tradition. Sky diving is organized in Canada on the Cinco de Mayo day and in the islands of Malta, Mexican beer drinking competitions are held. Air guitar competition and rock music concert are also conducted on the day.
Many activities are arranged on the day for kids at schools and neighborhood to educate them on the importance and significance of the day. This is the best day to teach the children about the war of Pleuba and the victory in it.
Special speeches, discussions and stage plays are arranged for the purpose. Fancy dress competition are conducted where the students dresses up as some historical personality or missionaries. The school also organizes Cinco de Mayo crafts like making Mexican flag, decorating the sombrero or Cinco de Mayo coloring. Activities on the day also include games like break the piñata, Cinco de Mayo bingo or the Mexican hat dance. These games and crafts are a fun way to learn about the celebration.
Kid's activities are not just conducted by schools and >education institutions, the party organizers also include one or the other kid's activities to make it more interesting. Some even includes cooking activities like rolling the enchiladas, salad decoration or salsa preparation for children.
Parades, carnivals and street fares are conducted in Mexico and the United States around the week of Cinco de Mayo. The national security forces of Mexico including the army, navy and the air force dresses themselves as revolutionaries and participates in the parade and the school students also volunteer to take part in it. Street fares are conducted around the country and the city of Los Angeles has the largest Cinco de Mayo street fare to its honor.
On this day, the military officials pledge allegiance to the national heritage and victory and the people celebrates the customs and traditions of their motherland, Mexico.
The battle of Pleuba is reenacted at places where the people dresses up as the strong and well equipped French army and the determined and organized Mexican army. The popular representation of this battle has been conducted for many years in the Peñón de los Baños, neighborhood of Mexico.
The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta organized at San Diego is a free and sponsored event which may last for two days and three nights and this attracts a number of people to this historic old town.
Today the observance of the day and the celebration are becoming more popular and the day is celebrated with a number of colorful events and activities. Cinco de Mayo celebration and events are on the top of the chart of travel itinerary within the region and bring a lot of tourists to Pleuba and different parts of Mexico each year. The day is not only the celebration of victory over French invasion; it is the celebration of the unity and determination of the country which can help them to overcome anything.