• On May 5, 1863, Americans first celebrated Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in Mexican communities in what are now California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. 
     
    Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated all over the United States—but not in Mexico! Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexican holiday. It is a Mexican-American holiday. On Cinco de May, communities may hold parades and picnics honoring the contributions Mexican Americans have made to the United States. Schools and other groups may listen to mariachi music or participate in baile folklorico (folk dancing) performances.
     
    Of course, Cinco de Mayo is also a time to celebrate Chicano culture with food, such as guacamole, burritos, or spicy chilis.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    Chicano Noun

    Mexican-American.

    Civil War Noun

    (1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).

    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    democracy Noun

    system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

    heritage Noun

    cultural or family background.

    holiday Noun

    period of celebration or honor.

    identity Noun

    how a person defines themselves, or how others define them.

    mariachi Adjective

    genre of traditional Mexican music featuring a variety of stringed instruments (such as violin, guitar, and guitarron), trumpet, and strong voices.

    participate Verb

    to take part in an activity.

    relevant Adjective

    directly having to do with something or someone.

    society Noun

    large community, linked through similarities or relationships.

    tribute Noun

    recommendation or compliment given in gratitude.

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