Cinco de Mayo

For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo means enjoying Mexican food and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5th in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays.  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated September 16th.  Rather, Cinco de Mayo is a day that commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla.

Today, Cinco de Mayo has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. It is seen as a day to celebrate Mexican pride, heritage and cultural achievements and experiences of people with a Mexican background.  In cities with a large Mexican population, it is a celebration that usually begins with a parade, along with businesses promoting Mexican food, drinks and music.

Nebraska’s south Omaha Latino community will host Cinco de Mayo events in Omaha May 4-6, 2018. Some of the highlights include mariachi bands, carnival rides, a Miss, Junior Miss and Little Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant, live music and a dazzling parade which begins on Saturday May 5th at 10:00am at the intersection of 24th & L Streets. For more information, please visit

If you would like more information, the Bellevue University Library has some wonderful resources available below:

Cinco de Mayo Celebrates Freedom for All People by S. Weddington.

El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition.  By David E. Hayes-Bautista.

Why Cinco de Mayo makes a great American holiday. Daily Herald. 

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