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It's Cinco de Mayo!

Traditional Mexican dancer

If there is ever a day to enjoy copious amounts of Mexican food, it’s today, Cinco de Mayo. I personally enjoy a good street taco regardless of the day. In fact, to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, “I could eat them in the dark or in a box with a fox.”

However, before you let the celebrations begin, let’s set the record straight. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day (September 16), Cinco de Mayo commemorates an unlikely victory by the Mexican army over France in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. While this holiday in Mexico goes relatively unnoticed, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture with parades and street festivals in cities across America, including Oklahoma City. Therefore, before you head out and enjoy the day, know that no gimmicks are needed to have a good time.

Visit the Capitol Hill Library booth at the Cinco de Mayo en Calle Dos Cinco Festival on May 6. Families can learn about upcoming programs including Summer Reading after picking up a free book or enjoying a free face paint design.

Learn more about this holiday with these library resources:

El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition by David E. Hayes-Bautista

Shows how the meaning of Cinco de Mayo has shifted over time--it embodied immigrant nostalgia in the 1930s, U.S. patriotism during World War II, Chicano Power in the 1960s and 1970s, and commercial intentions in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it continues to reflect the aspirations of a community that is engaged, empowered, and expanding.

The Latino Holiday Book: from Cinco de Mayo to Dia de los Muertos--the Celebrations and Traditions of Hispanic-Americans by Valerie Menard

Essential resource for everyone wanting to celebrate and honor the special traditions and celebrations of Hispanic-Americans. Author Valerie Menard takes us through the full year of holidays, weddings, birthdays, and quinceañeras all explained in rich detail. For each celebration, Menard discusses their religious or social history, typical customs, special foods and activities, and gives recipes and instructions for making the authentic foods and crafts that particularly represent a day’s traditions.

Cinco de Mayo Crafts by Carol Gnojeski

It’s Cinco de Mayo and everyone is in the mood to celebrate! Using these easy-to-follow directions and traceable patterns, readers can make sun stone sun prints like the Aztecs did, blooming flowers to decorate their house, a sombrero to get in the spirit of the holiday, and more!

Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Mexico's military victory over the French in 1862! This video investigates the holiday's history, and observes preparations being made to make the occasion festive, highlighted by the sounds of a Mexican mariachi band.

Access Video On Demand (Database)

Search “cinco de mayo” for lots of great videos depicting the history of the Battle of Puebla, Mexican holiday traditions and more!



Gloria Melchor

Gloria Melchor's picture

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, I graduated and received my Bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University where I majored in Biology. I recently graduated with my Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from University of Oklahoma. I have many pastimes, one of which is reading (how obvious, right?), watching and playing soccer (even with my limited skills), spending time with my friends and family, and traveling whenever time and my bank account permits.

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