Local residents celebrate Cinco de Mayo

cinco de mayo, mexican holiday, western massachusetts breaking new, wwlp 22news springfield

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday many people use to go out and celebrate. 22News found out why Cinco de Mayo means much more than just “the fifth of May” in Spanish.

Like many other holidays, Cinco de Mayo has turned into a commercialized holiday in the past few years. But for Mexicans and Mexican Americans, it’s much more than that.

It’s a common misunderstanding that this day is Mexican Independence Day. That’s not until September 16th. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on this day in 1862.

In Mexico, cities mark the day with political speeches and battle reenactments. In the United States, it’s all about parades, dancing, Mexican food and mariachi music.

Michael Grosso of Northampton told 22News “It’s a day to sort of celebrate Mexican heritage and Mexican culture in general….which is pretty under-appreciated here in New England.”

“Probably another excuse to drink, not going to lie, and celebrate and have a good time, you know? If you ask me what Cinco de Mayo exactly is all about, it’s just the fifth of May, that’s all I know.” said Derenik Vartanyan, an Agawam resident.

Since Cinco de Mayo is on a work-night this week, some people celebrated this past weekend.

22News spoke with a couple local Mexican restaurants who said this day doesn’t really show an increase in business.

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