Cinco de Mayo

By Jennifer Blanck, MiCAFE Network Coordinator, at Elder Law of Michigan

Who doesn’t love a good celebration full of food, music, dancing, and rich in culture? Across the United States, you can find a variety of celebrations on the fifth of May, better known as, Cinco de Mayo. Many people think of this day as a day meant to celebrate Mexican culture (guilty as charged, until I researched it for my high school Spanish class). However, that is not the case at all.

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although this holiday is not largely celebrated in Mexico it is still recognized in the state of Puebla. Celebrations may include military parades and recreations of the Battle of Puebla, and other festivities.

While Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, it is widely celebrated in the U.S. There are many celebrations that you can find in just about every large city across the country. Celebrations may include folkloric dancing, traditional cuisine, services and goods from Mexico, and even car shows.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when celebrating in the U.S., according to an article in Good Housekeeping.

  • DON’T wear a fake mustache, sombrero, or serape.
  • DO enjoy tons of authentic Mexican food.
  • DON’T call it “Cinco de Drinko” or “Cinco de Bruncho.”
  • DO visit a Mexican cultural institute to learn more about Mexico’s rich history.

Locally, there is a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta held at Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, MI every year over Memorial Day weekend. This year it will be celebrated May 24-26 with great food, bands, dancing, and much more. You can check your city’s visitor/event center to see if there will be any celebrations near you.

Jennifer Blanck is a MiCAFE Network Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan and has been with Elder Law of Michigan since September 2014. As a MiCAFE Network Coordinator, Jennifer helps clients apply for benefits through the Department of Health and Human Services and helps find resources for clients with needs that cannot be met by one of our programs.