Although Cinco de Mayo is arguably more of a U.S. fiesta than a Mexican affair -- (it is observed nationwide in the U.S., but only rarely outside of the city of Puebla, Mexico) -- that doesn’t stop Americans from drinking to all-things Mexican in honor of the 1862 Mexican defeat of the French at Puebla.
"Cinco de Mayo is a tradition dating from the Civil War," says Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, historian and professor of medicine and the director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
"It's a party created by Latinos who supported freedom and opposed slavery, who supported racial equality, and opposed the rule of any government that excluded," he said.
Weather or not revelers and festival goers know about the history and origins of the holiday, major cities across the country will take part in cultural festivities and drink specials this weekend.
Perhaps at its ideal, celebrating the holiday is, as President Obama said earlier this week, an opportunity to “pay tribute to our shared heritage and our future partnership.”
It is the 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo this year.
How are you celebrating this weekend?
CINCO DE MAYO EVENTS 2012:
Univision Radio L.A. is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with live mariachi music and dance at Los Angeles' own <a href="http://www.elpueblo.lacity.org/pdf/EventCalendar-May2012.pdf " target="_hplink">El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument</a>.
Drive south to Orange County for an all-day Cinco de Mayo Festival in Santa Ana's <a href="http://www.santa-ana.org/cda/documents/SACincodeMayo.pdf " target="_hplink">Historic Calle Cuatro Downtown</a>. In this picture, Mexica Ballet Folclorico performs during Cinco De Mayo festivities on May 5, 2011 at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The city of San Antonio's <a href="http://www.sanantonio.gov/marketsquare/pdf/Market Square Events.pdf" target="_hplink">Historic Market Square</a> will host a three-day weekend event "filled with local entertainment, arts & crafts, children's activities, food & more."
Miami, Florida will see its first annual Cinco de Mayo <a href="http://brickellfestival.com/" target="_hplink">Brickell Festival</a>.
The <a href="http://galoscorp.com/index.php?option=com_easycalendar&task=view&id=66&Itemid=36" target="_hplink">Cinco de Mayo Mexican Parade</a> is happening this Sunday on Central Park West, from 110th Street to 97th Streets. And New Jersey has a slew of parties, listed here by <a href="http://bloomfield.patch.com/articles/que-viva-cinco-de-mayo-2939b351" target="_hplink">Bloomfield Patch</a>.