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How to Experience Cinco de Mayo in Mexico City

How to Experience Cinco de Mayo in Mexico City

Mexico’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration marks the date of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when, against all odds, the Mexican army defeated Napoleon Bonaparte’s French troops—a huge victory for Independent Mexico. Here's how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico City.

When to Go

Cinco de Mayo is on May 5th with celebrations taking place all around Mexico and the United States. The most notable celebrations take place in Puebla, just outside of Mexico City, where festivities last the entire month of May—although the biggest events are on the day itself.

How to Go

Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Puebla kick off with a gigantic parade along 5 de Mayo Boulevard, with costumed marchers dressed up as Mexican and French soldiers, traditional Mexican dancers, and mariachi bands. Afterward, head to the Penon de los Banos neighborhood to witness a spectacular re-enactment of the legendary Cinco de Mayo battle. Locals don costumes and use real gunpowder rifles to re-enact the historic battle and spectators come from all over the world to see it.


Things to Know

  • Cinco de Mayo is not an official national holiday, although some states may give students and workers the day off.

  • Cinco de Mayo events in Puebla are free to attend.

  • The drive from Mexico City to Puebla is approximately 2.5-hours and there are direct buses from the capital.

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