Cinco de Mayo – also known as the fifth of May – is a day to honour Mexican culture and heritage across the world, and though celebrations in Vancouver can be hard to come by, we’ve prepared your guide to Mexico’s biggest day of the year.
“¿Cuál es la historia?” (What’s the history?)
Cinco de Mayo has been around for quite a while – 153 years to be exact. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s win over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The battle was a symbolic event that ultimately led Mexico to defeat France and reclaim their territory in 1867, thanks also to the help of the United States. Cinco de Mayo has since taken on stronger routes in the United States and abroad due to their large Mexican-American population.
In the 1960s, Mexican activists in the U.S. began to promote the holiday as a way for Mexican-Americans, often discriminated for their ethnicity, to reclaim their roots and honour their culture. Now, celebrations are far reaching around the world and include parades, mariachi performances, delicious Mexican food and dancing. The biggest Cinco de Mayo festivities occur in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago.
“¿Dónde es la peda?” (Where’s the party?)
On Tuesday, May 5, drop by any of these venues to get a taste of Mexican food, drink, music, culture and of course, tequila!
- What: Celebrate Cinqo de Mayo with John Landis’ hilarious ’80s classic Three Amigos with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short.
- Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
- When: Tuesday, May 5; 6:30 p.m.
- What: awesome food and drink specials including half price tacos. Lunch, dinner and happy hour.
- Where: La Casita Tacos – 1773 Robson St., Vancouver
- When: Tuesday, May 5; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- What: Party on at Celebrities Nightclub for the spiciest Cinco de Mayo celebration in town. There will be prizes for Biggest Sombrero, Most Outrageous Moustache and Group with Most Matching Ponchos.
- Where: Celebrities Nightclub – 1022 Davie St., Vancouver
- When: Tuesday, May 5; 9 p.m.
“¡Vayamos de fiesta!” (Let’s party!)
For anyone who would rather create their own Cinco de Mayo celebrations, it’s easy to host a party at home. Here are a couple of the must-have decorations, meals and music to pull it off:
- Make a killer margarita with real Mexican tequila. Don’t forget to dip the cup in lime juice and rock salt before serving!
- Create a DIY taco station complete with all the fixings – fresh tomato salsa, cheddar cheese, sour cream, black beans, meat and lots of guacamole. Also whip up some mole sauce, a Cinco de Mayo favourite.
- Download the best of mariachi music or billboard hits such as Santa or the Gipsy Kings, and turn it up!
- Find a piñata at your local party store and hang it in an open space. While you are there, pick up anything in Mexico’s colours – green, white and red.
- Cap off the party with fancy sombreros!