Do Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo? YES!
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican patriotic celebration that has been adopted in the United States as a Festive Holiday for both the Hispanic and the General markets. The day celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is commonly mistaken as the Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th.
However, Cinco de Mayo is also a date that represents a symbol of Mexican and Latin American unity and patriotism. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, carnivals, civic events and even with live representations of the battle. In the U.S., the celebration was adopted in the early 1930’s. Cinco de Mayo became a celebration in southwestern towns and cities with a high Mexican population. During the 1960s, the Chicano Movement adopted Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of Mexican culture. Since then, Cinco de Mayo evolved into a bi-cultural festivity that expressed the Mexican-American identity.
During the 1980s a big commercialization process took over the Cinco de Mayo celebration, when the alcohol industry began to market it as an excuse for celebration and heavy drinking among all segments of the U.S adult population, and especially among young people.
For Spanish-dominant Hispanics, Cinco de Mayo represents an opportunity to celebrate their patriotism and identity. Across the country carnivals, street celebrations, and concerts take place on May 5th, and in some cases they last for more than two days. Examples of these events are: Celebración del 5 de Mayo en la Placita Olvera (Los Angeles), The National Cinco de Mayo Festival at the National Mall (Washington D.C.), and the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (Portland, Oregon).
Every year before the Cinco de Mayo celebration, big advertising campaigns are launched promoting alcohol consumption targeted for both the general market and the Hispanic markets. Thus, Cinco de Mayo represents a gateway for brands such as Miller, Budweiser or Coors to reach the Hispanic population.
Image source: http://www.marumontero.com/cinco.htm