Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Costume

Cinco de Mayo is the commemoration of Mexico’s victory led by Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over the French forces headed by Napoleon III during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  Cinco de Mayo celebrations and are held throughout Mexico and cities and towns across the Southwestern United States.  Mexican-American families celebrate the occasion by hosting Cinco de Mayo parties and other festivities.  Celebrations include listening and dancing to festive Mariachi music, lots of eating and mucho drinking!

Bailes Folklóricos (folk dances) are celebrations of traditional Latin American dances that emphasize local culture.  Each of the regions in Mexico and the Southwestern United States are known for their home-grown folk dances.  Bailes (dances) are performed during Cinco de Mayo at grand parties or community festivites.  Traditional bailes are characterized by a basic set of steps called zapateados which involve percussive heel-stomping.  Costumed dancers perform elaborate dance routines in pairs or as teams to the jubilant sounds of the Mariachis.  Costumes worn by men at Cinco de Mayo folk dances of Northern Mexico include black trousers, accented with a red tie and belt and a black wide-brimmed hat.  Women’s costumes include brightly colored ruffled skirts trimmed with ribbons, shoes with heavy clog-like heels and ornate hair pieces.  Here are three Cinco de Mayo costume ideas for you to consider:

1. Mexican Mariachi
2. Latin Dancer
3. Spanish Dancer


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