Have you heard about the Cinco de Mayo celebration? You probably have as it’s very popular, especially in the U.S. This is the perfect moment to celebrate and honor Mexico and Mexican culture. This cultural background is the excuse you needed to celebrate in Spanish.

But do you know who else could celebrate with you and gain a lot from it? Your kids! Just like you, maybe they already know about this day and maybe have already celebrated it before. But if not, that’s okay; they’ll learn.

By celebrating Cinco de Mayo, children will learn about Mexico’s history and traditions, have a fun time, and acquire and practice the Spanish language. Which is great, because language and culture go hand in hand. See? It’s very beneficial for all kids, those that are just starting their Spanish journey and those that are already a little bit more advanced.

Cinco de Mayo’s History

First things first: You should know this is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is on September 16th. Some people get confused, because Cinco de Mayo is highly celebrated and honors Mexico in a big way. So it might seem like it’s the day they won their independence, but it’s not. Cinco de Mayo is another battle.

It started because the French emperor, Napoléon III, wanted to impose dominion in Mexico. To do that he sent part of his army there, and they landed on Veracruz, a state of Mexico. They wanted to go all the way to the center of the Mexican Republic. His plan was to put Maximiliano de Habsburgo, who was the archduke of Austria, as the new emperor of Mexico.

To get ahead of the game, the Mexican army along with some countrymen reinforced Puebla, a city in Mexico. They did this by turning a chapel that was in the Cerro de Loreto (in Puebla) into a fort. By reinforcing Puebla, the French army wouldn’t go forward. The battle happened right there in the Cerro de Loreto.

On May 5th of 1862 Mexico won the battle, which was a surprise considering the French army had more weapons. And that’s why Cinco de Mayo it’s also known as La Batalla de Puebla (The Battle of Puebla) and it’s celebrated.

Nonetheless, what you must know is that the French army came back after a year and this time they won. And so Maximiliano de Habsburgo became emperor along with his wife, Carlota.

Why Is Cinco de Mayo Celebrated in the U.S.?

Interesting fact: Did you know that Cinco the Mayo is more celebrated in the U.S. than in Mexico? We’re serious; it’s true! Contrary to popular belief, in Mexico it’s not really celebrated, there’s no huge party with food, music, shows, carnivals or anything like that. That doesn’t mean they don’t know of its existence.

It’s just that in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is mainly commemorated. That is, some schools make a small ceremony before classes to remember the Battle of Puebla. It consists of the school’s color guard carrying the Mexican flag and marching to the national anthem.

But then, how did it come to be more highly celebrated in the U.S.? Well, it was celebrated in 1867 in Texas, five years after the main event happened. This makes sense, because Ignacio Zaragoza was born in Texas before this state became part of the U.S. Then, in 1930 the Mexican consulate in California celebrated it.

But it gained more popularity in the U.S. throughout the 60s and 70s, because Mexican American people decided to celebrate it to keep their roots alive and show their Mexican pride. After, in the 80s, companies saw the perfect marketing opportunity by selling their beer for the parties.

All this contributed to this event becoming a huge celebration of Mexican culture in the U.S., even among those who aren’t Mexican nor have Mexican ancestry.

25 Spanish Words for the Cinco de Mayo

Even though the celebrations happen more in the U.S, you can still commemorate it in Spanish to learn more and practice your language skills. After all, it’s still a Mexican festive day. That’s why we’ve decided to teach you some Spanish words for the Cinco de Mayo event. This are specifically related to what the Cinco de Mayo is about:

  1. May five – Cinco de Mayo
  2. Battle of Puebla – Batalla de Puebla
  3. Mexico – México
  4. Mexican / Mexicans – Mexicano (male) / Mexicana (female) / Mexicanos (plural) / Mexicanas (plural)
  5. Army – Ejército
  6. Victory – Victoria
  7. Battle – Batalla
  8. War – Guerra
  9. France – Francia
  10. Austria – Austria
  11. City – Ciudad
  12. Emperor – Emperador
  13. Archduke – Archiduque
  14. Peasants / Countrymen – Campesinos
  15. Weapons – Armas
  16. Fort – Fuerte
  17. 1862 – Mil ochocientos sesenta y dos
  18. Celebration – Celebración
  19. Commemoration – Conmemoración
  20. Festivity – Festividad
  21. Festive day – Día festivo
  22. To win – Ganar
  23. To fight – Pelear
  24. To lose – Perder
  25. Patriot – Patriot


12 Spanish Words to Celebrate the Cinco de Mayo Day

Now here are some words to celebrate the Battle of Puebla. These are still words related to Mexico and its culture, but more focused on celebrating and partying. So you can teach your kids this vocabulary to use at the Cinco de Mayo’s festival:

  1. Mexican food – Comida mexicana
  2. Mexican music – Música mexicana
  3. Red – Rojo
  4. White – Blanco
  5. Green – Verde
  6. Hat – Sombrero
  7. Party – Fiesta
  8. To party – Festejar
  9. Flag – Bandera
  10. Decoration – Decoración
  11. Festival – Festival
  12. Mariachi – Mariachi


14 Spanish Phrases for the Cinco de Mayo Festivities

It’s important for kids to know how to express their emotions and ask their questions about this important event. It’s the best way they’ll learn more about it and will let us know how they feel about the celebration. Plus, the more they speak in Spanish, the faster they will achieve language fluency. That’s why now we’ll leave you with some phrases in Spanish for kids to use this Cinco de Mayo:

  1. Happy Cinco de Mayo! / ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
  2. What is Cinco de Mayo about? / ¿De qué trata el Cinco de Mayo?
  3. We’re going to make a presentation to commemorate Cinco de Mayo at school. / Vamos a hacer una presentación para conmemorar el Cinco de Mayo en la escuela.
  4. We’re learning about The Battle of Puebla at school. / Estamos aprendiendo sobre la Batalla de Puebla en la escuela.
  5. For homework I have to draw the Mexican flag for this Cinco de Mayo. / De tarea tengo que dibujar la bandera de México para este Cinco de Mayo.
  6. Who won the Battle of Puebla? / ¿Quién ganó la Batalla de Puebla?
  7. What I like the most about celebrating the Cinco de Mayo is listening to Mexican music. / Lo que más me gusta de celebrar el Cinco de Mayo es escuchar música mexicana.
  8. Long live Mexico! / ¡Viva México! / ¡Larga vida a México!
  9. My favorite Mexican food are tacos. / Mi comida mexicana favorita son los tacos.
  10. Is there going to be mariachi music at the festival? / ¿Habrá música de mariachi en el festival?
  11. Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays, because I have Mexican friends. / El Cinco de Mayo es uno de mis días festivos favoritos, porque tengo amigos mexicanos.
  12. Mom, tomorrow we’re decorating the classroom for the Battle of Puebla. Would you help make a craft? / Mamá, mañana vamos a decorar el salón de clases por la Batalla de Puebla. ¿Me ayudas a hacer una manualidad?
  13. Did you know my dad is Mexican? That’s why we celebrate the Battle of Puebla. / ¿Sabías que mi papá es mexicano? Por eso celebramos la Batalla de Puebla.
  14. I’m Mexican American. / Soy Mexicano-Americano. (male) / Soy Mexicana-Americana. (female)


How to Help Your Kids Learn Vocabulary for the Cinco de Mayo Festivities

Of course, the best thing you can do to help your children learn the vocabulary above is throwing a Cinco de Mayo party. But if you want to prepare them a little bit before that, here are some ideas:

  • Tell them the story of what happened in the Battle of Puebla and why it’s celebrated in Spanish, if you know the language. If you don’t, at least use a couple of the words above while telling them the story. They’ll train their ears, learn culture, and follow your example of speaking Spanish.
  • Ask them questions about this festive day. We’re not saying you should surprise them with a test. No, it shouldn’t feel like studying. Instead, engage them in the story and the party with questions. For example: “¿Qué te gusta más de este día?” (What do you like the most about this day?) “¿Qué comida mexicana quieres comer en la fiesta del Cinco de Mayo?” (Which Mexican food do you want to eat at the Cinco de Mayo party?) Or “¿Sabes cuándo ganaron la Batalla de Puebla los mexicanos?” (Do you know when the Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla?)
  • Make a craft! Kids love entertaining activities, and they can learn a lot from them too, not just Spanish but other skills as well. Crafting is one of the best ideas to keep them occupied, while having fun and learning. You should do the craft with them in case they need to use scissors or something like that. While you do it, speak everything or a couple of words every now and then in Spanish. For example, tell them: “Pass me the pegamento”. We leave you with a DIY idea below.


DIY: Make Crepe Paper Chains with the Colors of the Mexican Flag

Making crafts is one of the coolest things you can do with your kids to help them learn Spanish. So, here’s a popular crafting idea many Mexicans do to decorate Mexican parties or classrooms when a patriotic festivity is coming up. We’re talking about crepe paper chains with the colors of the Mexican flag!

What You’ll Need:

  • Scissors – Tijeras
  • Scotch Tape or glue or stapler – Cinta adhesiva o pegamento o engrapadora
  • Green crepe paper roll – Rollo de papel crepe verde
  • White crepe paper roll – Rollo de papel crepe blanco
  • Red crepe paper roll – Rollo de papel crepe rojo



  1. Cut stripes of approximately 20 cm of each color of the crepe paper.
  2. Grab one of the green stripes and fold the ends until they meet. Then glue them with scotch tape or glue or use the stapler to staple them. It will form a circle.
  3. Through that circle cross one of the white color stripes. And just like we did with the green one, fold the ends of this white stripe and glue them together. Remember you can use scotch tape, glue or the stapler, whatever you prefer. Now you’ll have a white circle.
  4. Through that white circle cross a red stripe and fold its ends until they meet and glue them together. You’ll have a red circle.
  5. Keep doing steps 2,3, and 4 successively. That is, now through the red circle cross, once again, a green stripe and join its ends. Then, do the same with the white stripe, then the red stripe, and so on. Do this until you’ve reached the length you wish for your chain. A good tip is to make chains of 2 meters, so you can hang them on the walls or hang them crossing the ceiling.


There you go! Your kids are ready to decorate their house, the party, the festival or their classroom. They’ll have tons of fun!

Keep the Celebration Going by Learning Spanish with TruFluency Kids

Your kids are now ready to celebrate the popular Cinco de Mayo festivity. But there are other Mexican festive days they can commemorate too. As well as festivities from other Spanish speaking countries. This would be a great opportunity for them to practice their Spanish and learn about and appreciate other cultures. They’ll grow a lot from that.

Knowing more Spanish will help them celebrate these special days better; they’ll be more prepared for a Spanish speaking environment. Here at TruFluency Kids we can help them with that!

We offer online Spanish speaking classes with native teachers. So they’ll make sure your kids learn useful things for a real-life situation.

We also base our lessons in our Bellieu Method, which looks to help students achieve language fluency. So your kids will not only learn grammar, listening, reading and writing. But they’ll also be able to hold a conversation in Spanish and express their feelings properly.

Because we know that kids are energetic, we teach through entertaining activities. They’ll sing, dance, do crafts, play games and even cook in Spanish. The whole environment will be in Spanish. So they acquire the language in a more natural way, like they did with their mother tongue. But without forgetting to add fun.

Come take a 30-minute trial class now! It’s with a live, native teacher and the class has no more than five students, so it’s more personalized. Afterwards, you’ll get the chance to participate in a Q & A session to clarify your doubts.

¡Come celebrate Spanish language and cultures with us!