Cinco De Mayo Will Help You Learn Spanish
You'll begin to see the signs and evidence of it very soon now. Various types of marketing and promotions. You might even see a store sale paper with the words: "Cinco De Mayo Sale". That's right, the holiday called Cinco De Mayo (Literally, the 5th of May) is coming soon. So it makes sense to take a minute and see what this holiday is all about, how we can have fun and celebrate it, and perhaps most importantly, as students of the Spanish language, how can we use Cinco De Mayo to learn more Spanish and have a good time doing it.
Cinco De Mayo is a most interesting and curious holiday. It's common for restaurants and bars to have Cinco De Mayo celebrations and specials. You can also find an assortment of Cinco de Mayo Greeting Cards in many stores. And many school teachers teach lessons on Cinco De Mayo and do crafts and other special activities with their students.
On the other hand, if you walk up to a person from Mexico on the street and ask them: "What do you do to celebrate the Cinco De Mayo holiday?" -- They'll probably tell you "Nada". That's because while there is a lot of buzz for Cinco De Mayo in the United States and some other places, there is little observance of the holiday in Mexico. It's quite possible that the Cinco De Mayo holiday is celebrated more away from Mexico than it is in Mexico.
Cinco De Mayo History
What is Cinco De Mayo? What's the truth about Cinco De Mayo? Contrary to popular belief, Cinco De Mayo is not the official Mexican Independence Day. That holiday is celebrated on September 16. Furthermore, Cinco De Mayo is not a mandatory federal holiday in Mexico. It turns out Cinco De Mayo is a day of victory for Mexicans over French military in a battle that took place in the 1860's.
It's reported that the celebration of Cinco De Mayo had it's origins in California and later spread across the United States. So much as the Germans celebrate Octoberfest, and the Irish have a parade on St. Patrick's Day, Cinco De Mayo is a day for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to celebrate there pride and culture.
Cinco De Mayo Celebrations
Cinco De Mayo is celebrated in assorted ways with many different types of observances. It is also celebrated by people of all ages. Some of the ways you'll find it celebrated include
- San Francisco and Other Cities Across the Country Have a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
- Portland Has A Cinco De Mayo 5k and 10k Run
- Santa Barbara has a Cinco De Mayo Festival
- St. Louis holds an annual Street Celebration for Cinco De Mayo
- There is a Little Miss Cinco de Mayo Pageant
- Many people have a Cinco de Mayo Party
- Kids and their Teachers do Cinco De Mayo activities in school
Cinco De Mayo appears to be celebrated commercially with restaurants offering promotions and special food and drink items for the holiday. Additionally, taverns and bars often have drink specials and contests and various celebrations. Even retail stores stock special items for the holiday such as t-shirts, hats, greeting cards, and assorted knick-knacks.
In a more traditional sense, Cinco De Mayo is celebrated every year on May 5th with festivals, parades, displaying of banners, mariachi music, and dancing.
Use Cinco De Mayo To Learn Spanish
So how can you use the holiday called Cinco De Mayo to increase your Spanish knowledge? Well, there are always opportunities if you keep your eyes open.
Perhaps if the weather is good you could venture out and attend one of the many Cinco De Mayo parades that'll be going on. By chance you might know someone who's having some sort of informal party for Cinco De Mayo. Maybe you work with someone who speaks Spanish who you could ask out for a drink for Cinco de Mayo. These would all be opportunities to spend more time around people who speak Spanish as their first language.
Time around someone who speaks Spanish is Gold because it gives you a chance to ask questions about the language, hear it spoken properly and authentically, and practice speaking it yourself with a native speaker. And as you know, the native speakers are your best teachers as your learn Spanish. Have fun!
If your interested in more information about Cinco De Mayo here is a list of terms related to this article that you can use.
- Cinco de Mayo Recipes
- Mexican Independence Day
- Cinco de Mayo Party Planning
- Cinco De Mayo Activities for Teachers and Classrooms