Is Cinco de Mayo a Commercialized Holiday?


Kyle Domico

Ryan Domico, an 8th grader, Celebrates Cinco de Mayo at Moe’s Southwest Grill. The restaurant gave out free t-shirts. Kyle Domico, sophomore, said, “We had a ton of fun celebrating the holiday a Moe’s.”

Elly Haushalter, staff writer

Cinco de Mayo is the annual celebration of the Mexican army’s improbable victory over the French army on May 5th, 1862, in Puebla, Mexico. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which actually takes place on September 16th and is called El Día de la Independencia.

Cinco de Mayo is a worldwide celebration of Mexican culture, though sometimes American corporations make it a commercialized holiday and use it as an advertising opportunity.

In the town of Puebla, Cinco De Mayo is commemorated with parades. On the other hand, many people in State College celebrated the holiday as well. Sophomore Kyle Domico went to Moe’s for Cinco de Mayo to enjoy what he and many others consider Mexican food.

Through time, some believe that Cinco de Mayo has changed from a cultural holiday to a profit-oriented one. American corporations, like Moe’s Southwest Grill, have taken over the holiday.

Anne Gustafson, sophomore, said, “Cinco de Mayo is a commercialized holiday that doesn’t honor Mexican culture. Cinco de Mayo reduces Mexican culture to Mexican food and partying, rather than commemorating true Mexican culture and Mexican armies.”

Moe’s Southwest Grill celebrated Cinco de Mayo with #Moestakeover, giving out free t-shirts and a social media blow up on May 5th. The restaurant chain also released a new lime Burrito Bowl.

“I think that it is important to celebrate Cinco de Mayo because it helps to expand the spread of knowledge on how their culture works,” Karsyn Kane, freshman, said. “It’s also important to celebrate because it is the day that Mexico won a battle against the French, so it’s a celebration of their accomplishments, and because of their victory they were able to pass down their culture for generations.” Kane celebrated Cinco de Mayo at home with her family.

Senior Fernando Del Castillo views Cinco de Mayo as a controversial holiday. “It’s a convoluted issue and I feel like it’s not a critical part of the American identity. I have conflicting feelings about this and it’s a multifaceted topic and there is no simple answer to this.”

To many, Cinco de Mayo is a valuable day filled with Mexican culture, but to others, it has become profit oriented and capitalistic.