By: Stephanie Trinh

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s victory in 1862 over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Though a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated in the United States because of the Chicano activists that raised awareness of the holiday in the 1960s. On Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate the Mexican culture and heritage with parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Many of us in America mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day (Like how 4th of July is American Independence Day). However, they are two separate things. Mexican Independence day is commemorated on September 16th, the day that war against the Spanish colonial government was declared in 1810.

Fun Facts:

  • There are 33.6 million residents in the United States that are of Mexican origin
  • The median age of people in the U.S. of Mexican origin is 25.7
  • 12 million is the total number of the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. that resided in California in 2011
  • 1.65 million people of Mexican descent (25 and older) have a bachelors degree or higher in 2011
  • There are 367 tortilla manufacturing establishments in the United States (in 2010), 116 of these establishments are located in Texas