Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not a holiday celebrating Mexico's Independence Day (that day is celebrated on September 16). Instead, Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States and in parts of Mexico as a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. The holiday actually originated near the beginning of the American Civil War as a way for Mexican-American communities in the West to celebrate the cause of freedom and democracy. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, music, dancing, and traditional foods. Learn more about the history of Cinco de Mayo and Mexico with some of these picks from our catalog:
- Cinco de Mayo: A Review of the Battle of Puebla
- Cinco de Mayo
- Cinco de Mayo: An Illustrated History
- The Course of Mexican History
- Que Vivan Los Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity
Photo credit: lowjumpingfrog
Brighid Gonzales is a Brisbane Library intern and library student.