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Cinco de Mayo comes to the UK

Alex Riches

Why is the 5th May so important?

Cinco de mayo events

Party time... Cinco de Mayo comes to the UK in style.                  Photo: PaulSteinJC

MEXICAN culture has definitely made it across the Atlantic. You only have to walk down a typical British high-street to notice. Mexican restaurants, Mexican food in supermarkets, and (of course) Mexican alcohol on off-licence shelves. And now we have Mexican holidays too...

Cinco de Mayo on the 5th May is the Mexican holiday to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, where the Mexicans beat back the larger French army in 1862. It is most commonly celebrated in Central American countries and Southern USA states as a national holiday in recognition of their neighbour. But why do we celebrate it?

Cinco de Mayo is one of the many holidays adopted in the UK, along with Halloween and even Thanksgiving to a degree.

So what kind of events can you expect to see on the 5th May this year? The most-common thing to see is a street parade and a fireworks display from the closest military base (it is a celebration of a battle after all). But because it's a relatively new holiday celebration for us, we haven’t yet got to the same level as Mexico. 

What you can expect though is cheaper drinks at your local Mexican bar, discounts at Mexican restaurants and maybe a few firework displays from some very patriotic neighbours. That’s better than it just being a normal Saturday...and it is said that wild Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the capital are actually the best-kept-secret in London!

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