Cinco de Mayo means “the fifth of May.” It is the anniversary of a battle that took place in the city of Puebla in 1862, and celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French. While Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico, it is mainly observed in the state of Puebla. In the United States it is becoming a popular holiday to celebrate Mexican culture. Since we had Mother’s Day Tea on the actual Cinco de Mayo, we decided to have “Old Calendar” Cinco de Mayo the following week.
The Spanish classes at T.H.E.O.S started learning about this special holiday five weeks before it actually took place. They read a book and made projects including tissue paper flowers, Mexican folkart pictures, and “papel picado,” a traditional paper-cutting decoration that is turned into a banner. Students also learned about the history of the symbols on the Mexican flag and colored their own to hang up for our celebration.
The classes celebrated by learning and performing the Mexican Hat Dance, “El Jarabe Tapatio,” and even used maracas and sombreros as props. Students had the opportunity to try on a “sarape” for the boys and folklore dress for the girls, and take turns getting their pictures taken in the Mexican attire! Afterwards, each class sat at tables and enjoyed chips and salsa while mariachi music played in the background. It was a great fiesta for all!