Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn May 5, 1863, Americans first celebrated Cinco de Mayo. The holiday marks the 1862 Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, Mexico.Cinco de Mayo is not a major Mexican holiday. (Mexico’s independence day is September 16.) Instead, it is a tribute to Mexican-American identity and heritage. The early celebrations focused on freedom and democracy—ideas relevant not only to French occupation in Mexico, but the Civil War then raging in the United States.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry celebrate Verb
to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.
Civil War Noun
(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.
cultural or family background.
period of celebration or honor.
how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.
genre of traditional Mexican music featuring a variety of stringed instruments (such as violin, guitar, and guitarron), trumpet, and strong voices.
to take part in an activity.
directly having to do with something or someone.
large community, linked through similarities or relationships.
recommendation or compliment given in gratitude.