Why do we Celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo Facts for Kids

Cinco de Mayo Facts for Kids 


What Does Cinco de Mayo Mean?

Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for the 5th of May.

Where is Cinco de Mayo Celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday.  It is celebrated in Mexico.  It is also celebrated in parts of the United States.

Why do People Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Some people believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independance day.  This is not why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated.  Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16th.  The anniversary of September 16, 1810 when Father Miquel Hidalgo stated the time has come for Mexico to be free from Spain.

Cinco de Mayo is a special day in Mexican history.  Cinco de Mayo celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla which took place on May 5, 1862. The Battle of Puebla was fought between the Mexican army and the French army.

The French army had around 8,000 and the Mexican army had around 4,500 soldiers. The French army had not only more soldiers but their soldiers had better training and guns. Even though the French army had more soldiers, better training and better guns the Mexican army won the battle. The French army attached the city of Puebla three times and all three times they had to retreat. The Mexican army lead by Commander Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin won the battle. No one thought Mexico would be able to beat the French in the battle. The people in the city of Puebla and around Mexico cheered over the victory.

When Did Cinco de Mayo Become a Holiday?

President Benito Juarez declared Cinco de Mayo a national holiday on May 9, 1862. He called it “Battle of Puebla Day” or “Battle of Cinco de Mayo.” 

How do People Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

In Mexico many Cinco de Mayo festivities take place in the city of Puebla.  People celebrate by watching parades eating traditional Mexican foods and drinks, dancing, and attending festivals. Some people dress up as Mexican and French soldiers in honor of the battle of Puebla. 

In the U.S people also celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  In the U.S many people eat foods such as tacos, quesadillas, guacamole and salsa and chips.   Did you know that American eat around 81 million avocados on Cinco de Mayo!

An estimated 33.6 million US residents are of Mexican descent.


Cinco de Mayo Songs

Today’s the Fifth of May (tune from “Farmer in the Dell”)

Today’s the fifth of May,
“Cinco de Mayo,” We say,
Let’s join hands and sing and play,
It’s Cinco de Mayo today!

Cinco de Mayo (tune from “Are you Sleeping”)

Cinco de Mayo,
Cinco de Mayo,
The fifth of May,
The fifth of May,
The fifth of May,
is the anniversary,
of a great victory,
For Mexico,
For Mexico

Today’s a Day to Celebrate (tune of “London Bridge”)

Today’s a day to celebrate
Celebrate, celebrate
Today’s a day to celebrate
Courage under fire.

The Mexican Army, they were poor,
They were poor, they were poor,
The Mexican army, they were poor,
But that did not stop them.

They followed orders and charged ahead,
charged ahead, charged ahead,
They followed orders and charged ahead,
Routing the French forces.

A great victory they did win,
They did win, the did win,
A great victory they did win,
In the Battle of Puebla.