Why is Cinco de Mayo more popular in the U.S. than Mexico?


Cinco de Mayo is not a major holiday in Mexico, so how did it become so popular here in the United States? I learned that there are a few reasons for that.

Many Americans will celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Friday with Mexican food and drinks.

On May 5, 1862, an outnumbered Mexican army under the leadership of general Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French forces in the Battle of Puebla. For Mexico, it was like the biblical battle of David and Goliath.

While Mexican President Benito Juarez declared Cinco de Mayo a national holiday at the time, Mexico's Independence Day, Sept. 16th, remains a much more important holiday south of the border.

UCLA researchers say its popularity in the U.S. began in California during our own civil war in the 1860s as a response to the resistance against continued European efforts to colonize Latin America. It also tied in with California’s support of the union in the U.S. Civil War.

It then became an important symbol to the Chicano movement that began in California in the 1940s and eventually spread across the country.

Finally, Cinco de Mayo became a party holiday in the U.S. starting in the 1970s and '80s when beer companies began marketing to the nation's growing Hispanic and Spanish-speaking population.

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