By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders
For most Americans Cinco de Mayo mostly means sombreros, chips and salsa, and/or margaritas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all those things! But like any other national day or holiday, I think its important to understand what you are celebrating. So before diving into the ‘fun stuff’ like recipes and crafts I want to share some resources to learn more about this important day in Mexican history.
What Does Cinco De Mayo Mean?
Even if you never took a day of Spanish, you likely know that Cinco de Mayo means fifth of May in English. But why is that day important?
On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza led Mexico to victory over the French army during the Battle of Puebla. That is why to this day Mexico celebrates this Cinco De Mayo. Like the United States’ Independence Day celebrations, it is celebrated with dancing, parades, and food.
Are you wondering why we celebrate this day in the United States? Festivities on this day began in California in 1863 when it began to be observed annually. Today it is more of a celebration of Mexican American culture in our country.
Learn More About Cinco De Mayo
A great start to any Cinco De Mayo celebration is learning a little more about the holiday. Below are a few articles/sites to visit to do that!
Here are a couple of kid-friendly videos about the holiday as well.
Enjoy Mexican-Inspired Foods
One of my favorite parts about Cinco de Mayo is the food. I also love the music! Here are a few ideas of foods to enjoy or maybe even try for the first time on this day.
Those are merely a few foods that you would commonly find in Mexican-American restaurants. Below is my recipe for guacamole – another great food choice to enjoy on this day! It is delicious to eat, easy to make, and only requires five ingredients.
- White Onion
- Sour Cream
- Lime Juice
Directions to Make Guacamole
First, you want avocados that are just the right ripeness. That’s honestly the hardest part about making guacamole. They should be mostly brown skin and feel soft to press, but not too squishy. When you open them, it should be green and soft, but no brown spots.
The number of avocados you use depends on how big of a batch you want. I typically use around three, but if you are making this for a party, group, or have a large family, then you will likely want four or five.
After you select your avocados:
- Carefully remove the pit
- Cut or scoop out the insides
- Put them in a large mixing bowl
- Mash up the avocados to make the guacamole smoother
Next, dice up your onion. The amount you use depends a little on how much you are making. For three avocados, I typically use 1/3 to 1/4 cup of diced onions.
After the onions comes the Rotel. You’ll need one can and be sure to drain it. Then, add one scoop of sour cream. Finally, add a couple squirts of lime juice.
Once you have all the ingredients in your mixing bowl, stir it up. Enjoy it with your favorite tortilla chips!
Crafts and Activities
What is a celebration without some crafts and activities? Here are a few ideas:
- Make maracas
- Learn and do skirt movements from traditional Mexican dances
- Make a sombrero
- Watch a Mexican-inspired movie (below are two fun ones for the entire family)
- Book of Life
Whatever you choose to do, make sure to embrace Mexican-American culture for the day!
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