The True Meaning of Cinco De Mayo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

The True Meaning of Cinco De Mayo

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A sign at La Quetzalteca promotes the hashtag CincoReady in preparation for Cinco De Mayo (Source: WBOC) A sign at La Quetzalteca promotes the hashtag CincoReady in preparation for Cinco De Mayo (Source: WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - From sombreros to drink specials, there are signs all around us that Cinco De Mayo has arrived. But most Americans probably have a limited understanding of what the holiday is all about. And that's because in many ways, the modern-day celebration has become "Americanized."

The true reason for "Cinco De Mayo" is to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In this battle, a ragtag group of Mexican soldiers defeated Napolean and the French Army in a true David and Goliath story. Contrary to common beliefs, this is not to celebrate Mexican Independence, which was achieved 50 years earlier, and is celebrated in September.  

At La Quetzalteca in Georgetown, the margaritas were being poured on Thursday afternoon, and corona signs could be seen in every direction. Minerva Magadan said the holiday is celebrated in a very different way in Mexico. 

"In Mexico we only memorialize the day," she said. "There's not a celebration as there is in this restaurant where everyone celebrates like it's the independence day."

Magadan said that the story of the holiday's origins have not only been lost on Americans, but many Mexicans as well. At La Esperanza, Monserrat Matos said that many Mexicans living in The United States do not even celebrate the holiday. 

"The older generations have a more deep meaning of the actual holiday," she said. "Opposed to the younger generation. We just had no idea. And we just continue to pass it on. I don't think I've ever spoken to my daughter about Cinco De Mayo. And so I think you just continue to lose it. Especially in the United States."

Meanwhile Amayrani Villalobos, also of La Esperanza, said that Cinco De Mayo celebrations are positive, whether they are accurate or not.

"Everybody wants to enjoy something from a different culture," she said. "So why not take one day and make it your own."

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