Hispanic holidays and celebrations

There are no specific Hispanic public holidays in the US, but Hispanics from different countries celebrate special days, in particular their independence from their colonizers.

Cinco de Mayo: May 5

Cinco de Mayo is a proud day for Mexicans who celebrate their victory over the French at the battle of Pueblo on May 5, 1862. The French army was better armed and three times larger but the Mexican army still defeated them. Now every May 5 there are parades, music and celebrations.

Mexican Independence Day: September 16

September 16 1810 marks the day when Mexican priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, called for the arrest of all Spanish settlers living in the town of Delores. He sparked a revolution that lasted over 11 years. By 1821, Mexico managed to claim its independence from Spain.

Puerto Rican Emancipation Day: March 22

Puerto Rico celebrates the day that slaves in the country were emancipated, or given their freedom.

New Year’s Eve: December 31

Hispanics and Latinos say goodbye to the old year and receive the New Year by “quemando el Año Viejo”, or burning the old year. They fill a human sized rag doll with fireworks and set light to it.

Another Latin American tradition, originally from Spain, is to eat 12 grapes in one minute before the clock chimes midnight, harder than it seems!


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