Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
While Cinco de Mayo is not important in Mexico, in the United States it’s a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. However, a common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Day of Independence. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually September 16.
How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in San Diego
Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo
History and culture come alive at the Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo. Experience traditional Mexican cuisine, mariachi music, dancing, crafts, and so much more. The Fiesta has fun for everyone, from educational activities for children to food, beer and tequila specials for adults. Best of all, the Fiesta is free to the public!
5 on 5 Block Party in the Gaslamp Quarter
Spice things up in the Gaslamp Quarter at the annual 5 on 5 Block Party. With over twenty of the Gaslamp’s hottest clubs offering no cover charge and food and drink specials. Have fun as the 5 on 5 Block Party cranks up the heat with live music and dancing.
Centro Cultural de la Raza
Explore the origins of this holiday at the Center Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. Transport to May 5, 1862, and experience a dramatic performance showing the events leading up to the Battle of Puebla. This family-friendly event is alcohol-free and includes authentic food and a student recital.
Remember, whether or not you celebrate in Mexico or in the United States Don’t drink and drive.
If you drive to Mexico to celebrate, don’t forget your mexinsurance.