Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in DC

Cinco de Mayo is a widely celebrated holiday in the United States, but what is the significance of this day and why is it so important? Cinco de Mayo, which means “fifth of May” in Spanish, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While the holiday is not a major holiday in Mexico, it has become a popular cultural celebration in the United States, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, and as such, it is celebrated in a variety of ways around the world. Here are some of the most common ways people celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

  • Parades: Many cities and towns host parades on Cinco de Mayo, complete with marching bands, colorful floats, and traditional Mexican dancers and musicians.
  • Festivals: Cinco de Mayo festivals are popular in many areas and often feature live music, dancing, food, and drinks. These events can be large, multi-day affairs or small neighborhood gatherings.
  • Traditional Foods: Food is an important part of any Cinco de Mayo celebration, and traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole are often served.
  • Drinks: Margaritas are a popular drink choice on Cinco de Mayo, as are Mexican beers such as Corona and Dos Equis.
  • Decorations: Many people decorate their homes and businesses with traditional Mexican decorations such as papel picado (paper banners), piñatas, and flags.
  • Clothing: Wearing traditional Mexican clothing such as colorful dresses, sombreros, and ponchos is a common way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
  • Community Events: Community events such as street fairs and block parties are also popular on Cinco de Mayo, as they offer an opportunity for neighbors to come together and celebrate.

Overall, Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, and there are many different ways to do so. Whether you prefer a lively party or a quiet family gathering, there is a way to celebrate that is right for you.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. is a fantastic place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo for several reasons. The city has a diverse population that includes many Mexican-Americans and people from other Latin American countries, which means that there are many opportunities to experience authentic Mexican culture and cuisine. There are several Cinco de Mayo parties held in the D.C. area each year, featuring live music, dancing, and food. Washington, D.C. also has a vibrant food scene with many restaurants that serve Mexican cuisine, including street tacos, mole poblano, and other dishes. In addition, many bars and restaurants in the city offer margarita and tequila specials on Cinco de Mayo. For those interested in history and culture, the city is home to many museums and cultural institutions that celebrate the contributions of Mexican-Americans and other Latin Americans to U.S. history and culture, offering an opportunity to learn more about the significance of Cinco de Mayo. Overall, Washington, D.C. provides a variety of options for those looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, whether through parties, food, drinks, or education.

Events for Kids

Cinco de Mayo Party for Kids at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library 

Every year, people in Mexico celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla when a smaller, Mexican force was victorious against the larger and better-armed French imperialist army that occupied the country for six years from 1861 to 1867. Come celebrate at the library by enjoying:

  • A taco bar! (come hungry!)
  • Break the piñata
  • Make your own flag of Mexico
  • Paint a picture of a Mexican sunset
  • Make your own Mexican flag bracelet

For ages 5-12