Cinco de Mayo: Honoring Mexican Culture and Heritage at Home


Cinco de Mayo, which translates to the fifth of May in Spanish, commemorates Mexico’s victory over French rule at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

In the United States, this event is a celebration of Mexican culture, customs, and the achievements made by people of Mexican heritage. Some may choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by cooking traditional food, such as tacos, tamales, guacamole, and mole poblano (a thick sauce). In addition, this holiday invites individuals to don traditional clothing, such as sombreros, colorful cotton dresses or shirts with Aztec designs, and sleeveless cloaks called huipil.

In light of social distancing, you can honor Cinco de Mayo by reading up on Mexican music and art. Check out YouTube to see folk performances, such as acoustic ballads called Corrido and full brass ensembles playing Mariachi music. You can also learn more about one of Mexico’s most infamous artists, Frida Khalo, and take a virtual tour through the Mexican Museum dedicated to her work at

You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home by cooking some tantalizing Mexican desserts:

  1. Tres Leches (Milk Cake)
  2. Churros (fried pastry)
  3. Flan (sponge cake)
  4. Sopaipillas with Chocolate Sauce (fried dough pockets)
  5. Pineapple, Pecan and Coconut-Rum Tamales (dough wrapped in a leaf)

Photo by Dean Moses