Cinco de Mayo today: fake Mexican holiday becomes real U.S. history

Cinco de Mayo is today. It’s a date in Mexican history so parenthetical that most Mexicans don’t even bother to mark the occasion, has nonetheless become a very real celebratory occasion in the United States. The day is centered around drinking beer, heading out after work to party at the local bar, getting together with old friends, and more or less treating the occasion as if it were an early Fourth of July. In fact many Americans falsely believe that May 5th is in fact Mexico’s Independence Day. Not even close.

In fairness, Cinco de Mayo is something of a big deal locally the state of Puebla, Mexico, where it’s celebrated with a good deal of festivities. But outside of Puebla, most Mexicans merely shrug when the calendar reads 5/5 each year. For it to have become such a major annual event in the United States would like if an obscure local American holiday only celebrated in Rhode Island somehow became a major celebration of American culture in Mexico. And yet despite the absurdity of how the more or less fake Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo became a real part of American culture, millions of Americans are celebrating it today accordingly.

Just don’t ask most residents of Mexico, or any fans of historical accuracy, to show much enthusiasm for Cinco de May today.

Will Stabley
Will Stabley is the Founder and Senior Editor of Stabley Times.
Will Stabley