Why do Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

¿Por que celebran los estadounidenses el Cinco de Mayo?

More precisely, why is Cinco de Mayo celebrated by white people in the United States (not all white people, but enough that it’s visible), and other foreign national holidays generally aren’t (including Mexican Independence Day, Diez y Seis de Septiembre)?

My girlfriend is partly of French descent, so we do it as a day of reconciliation, but that doesn’t seem to be the broader practice.

ETA: just realized this is in GQ. Still, my answer stands.

According to Wikipedia:


So it’s a California thing, which isn’t surprising at all, to me.

I suspect that is probably right. It’s an excuse to eat and drink. That’s probably why St. Patricks day is celebrated in the US too.

Significantly, today’s Google Doodle isn’t about Cinco de Mayo at all – it celebrates Nellie Bly’s 151st birthday.

And excuse to party. See: St Patrick’s Day


Mexican Bulldogs tonight!

Once the bar industry found out about it, it grew exponentially in the US.

Add to the above the marketing effort behind it particularly Mexican restaurants & beer distributors really pushed this to be a day to cut loose and celebrate, and really presented it as a fun holiday (staying clear of it’s roots)

There are a lot of Mexicans in America. And it’s a great excuse to drink a margarita.

Only 193 shopping days until Genghis Khan’s birthday. Ferment some horse milk and get in on the ground floor today!

The answer to this has already been cited: St. Patrick’s Day. If you have a large enough ethnic group with a day you can drink and eat one, you’ll have a holiday.

In Buffalo, even non-Polish people celebrate Dyngus Day.

Ummm, did the Polish name it that as a whoosh?

Drinking, I’m sure plays into it, but a lot (most?) people like Mexican food as well. On top of that, bordering Mexico, there’s a lot of Mexican culture in the states.
I would guess that most major cities have at least one area that’s mainly Hispanic/Mexican. In the last 10-15 years Cinco de Mayo celebrations have spilled outward and given more people another reason to go out for Mexican food and margaritas. I don’t think it’s anything more than that. I’d be willing to bet that at least half of the white people you’d see out tonight couldn’t tell you what Cinco de Mayo is. Some of them probably can’t even translate. Yesterday, I heard one person try to make a joke and call it Quatro de Cinco (aiming for Quatro de Mayo).

TL;DR, it’s just a reason to go out for drinks like St Patrick’s it a night to go and get green beer.

This makes a lot of sense. I moved out to CA in the 70s, and had no idea what Mexican food was since we just didn’t have it on the East Coast. But that changed in the 80s as Mexican food and beers became popular throughout the US (even if just from crappy chain restaurants).

Because Mexican food is yummy and it’s an excuse to drink.

Here’s a useful list:

Coming up: Constitution Day in the Federated States of Micronesia (May 10)

It’s Śmigus-Dyngus in Polish.

Story behind it and the name here.

Corona (beer Co.) made it a holiday in America;