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May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) is a Mexican festival holiday that commemorates the overthrow of the Mexican Imperial Monarchy headed by Maximilian of Austria, but it is not, as many people believe, the day offically celebrated as Independence Day.

Nevertheless, it is a day of fiesta and food - so prepare a Tex Mex meal, decorate the house, and party on.

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Cinco de mayo de 1862 - La Batalla de Puebla

¡Viva México! ¡Viva Juárez! Viva el 5 de Mayo!

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Family Fiesta Resources & Links

Guacamole tex mex graphic

margarita and chili peppers for cinco de mayo

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  • HISTORY May 5 is celebrated because it commemorates Mexico's courage and struggle against a formidable force: the Mexican army and a group of civilians won an important battle over the French on May 5, 1862 in the city of Puebla. Although May 5 is not the official Mexico Independence day, it is enthusiastically celebrated in the city and state of Puebla in Mexico, and by Mexican-Americans and Chicanos living in the United States, especially in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Cinco de Mayo festivities are similar to American Independence Day celebrations with parades, street performances, special music, symbolic decorations, folk dancers, fiesta, special foods and fireworks.

These upbeat social events help build community relations and strengthen solidarity among Mexican-Americans, and they provide opportunties for other members of the community to learn about, appreciate and enjoy Mexican-American culture.

Fiesta t-shirt shirt
Fiesta t-shirt by holiday_tshirts
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Muerte Day of the Dead Illustration shirt
Muerte Day of the Dead Illustration by jfarrell12
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Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Decorations

Colors

Use plenty of red, white and green for Cinco de Mayo decorations.

Fiesta Symbols and Decorations

Decorate with paper flowers, banners made from cut and punched paper (papel picado) colorful woven blankets, clay pottery, guitars, pinatas, sombreros, maracas, streamers, flags, garlands and balloons in symbolic colors.

Fiesta Clip Art and Scrapbook Graphics

Flag of Mexico

The official flag of Mexico design consists of 3 equally-sized vertical color bands in green, white, and red, respectively, with the official coat of arms centered within the white (middle) band of the flag.

flag of mexico

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Mexican-Inspired Crafts & Decorations

Visit the below sites and pages to find instructions for making your own punched paper banners, pinatas, sombrero hats, paper flowers, and eye of God icons.

Punched Paper - Papel Picado
Make a String Pull Pinata
Sombrero Craft for Kids
Ojo de Dios - Eye of God
Tissue Flower Hair Decorations

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Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tex Mex foods - chili (one recipe below), watermelon margaritas, Cuban black beans, tenderloin with a chimichurri sauce, and tres leches (three-milks) cake.

Click here for our recipe collection of delicious fiesta foods.

Prepare a meal of tasty authentic Mexican Cuisine such as mole, salsa , pipian, or Filete de Sierra en Adobo. (This is an off site link to mexicanhomecooking.com)


Chili Recipe

photo: Morguefile artist taliesinIngredients:

- 1 lb. lean ground beef or finely chopped stew meat
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small or 1/2 large green pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small or 1/2 large red pepper seeded and diced
- 1 can Rotel - Mexican flavored diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 can black beans
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 12 oz can hearty beer - I like robust local brews but you can use whatever you preferi.
- 4 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 square unsweetened baking chocolate

Stove Top Instructions:


Brown beef, peppers, and onion. Drain grease. Stir in remaining ingredients, reserving beans for last.

Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to VERY low. Cook 1 hour with the lid off, then cook 1 hour with the lid on over very low temperature.

Season to taste just before serving by adjusting cayenne or jalapeno to your liking.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

Brown meat and drain off fat. Combine with rest of ingredients and cook on low heat setting for 4 hours

Serving Suggestions:

- Top with grated cheese - I like Monterey Jack or Vermont Cheddar.
- Add a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt
- Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and 2 tbsp of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine.
- Serve over home made tortilla chips
- Serve over a bed of cooked rice
- Serve rolled up in a flour tortilla with or without grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese and rice

More Cinco de Mayo Information

These offsite resources will provide you with official Mexico, May 5 and Mexican Independence Day.

 
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