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How people celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

How people celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Posted by PanamericanWorld on May 01, 2015

In America, Cinco de Mayo has become an excuse to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas. But in Mexico, it's celebrated a bit differently.

The holiday actually commemorates a military victory, when Mexico defeated the French in 1862. And instead of being celebrated across the country, the only place that really celebrates the holiday is Puebla, where the battle actually took place.

From historical reenactments and parades to mouthwatering meals, here’s what you’ll see happening in Mexico on May 5th.

The largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place in the city of Puebla, the site where the original battle took place. Not only is the city a UNESCO World Heritage Centre thanks to its preserved 16th and 17th century cathedrals, it’s also considered Mexico’s gastronomic capital.

There's a massive parade in Puebla, where thousands of locals gather and dress as French and Mexican soldiers to reenact the war. After the Mexican troops win, celebrations begin with music, dancing, and food.

There are dozens of brightly-colored floats in the parade.

Every year, Puebla also hosts the Festival Internacional de Puebla, an annual cultural event that brings artists from around the world and traditional Mexican dancers and musicians who play mariachi music, maracas, and flamenco guitar.

Puebla's most iconic dish is mole poblano, a thick, complex sauce that's made with over a dozen ingredients, including chili peppers and chocolate. It's usually served over chicken. During these celebrations, the city hosts the Festival International del Mole, a two-day festival where celebrity chefs discuss, prepare, and celebrate the dish.

Chicken tinga is another iconic dish that's served during Cinco de Mayo. Whether it's served on a plate or in a tortilla, the traditional dish includes chicken cooked in a tomato base and seasoned with onion, garlic, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Instead of tequila, the most popular drink in Mexico is actually agua fresco — flavored water combined with fruits, seeds, and flowers. Favorites include lime water, hibiscus-flavored water, and tamarind water.

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