Cinco de Mayo

Commemorative Spanish Vocabulary

Cinco de Mayo - Spanish vocabulary
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Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory over France during the Battle of Puebla in 1862, which stopped the French army’s advance into the country and unified Mexico.*

A few towns in Mexico recreate the battle every 5th of May, while a number of US cities celebrate the holiday with parades and parties featuring Mexcian food, music, and dancing. The holiday is not celebrated – in fact, is virtually unknown – in countries without sizeable Mexican populations.

May 5th   Cinco de Mayo
army   el ejército
battle   una batalla
cannon   el cañón
costume   el disfraz
culture   la cultura
dancing   el baile
fireworks   los fuegos artificiales
flag   la bandera
food   la comida
the French   los franceses
green   verde
history   la historia
music   la música
outnumbered   superado en número
parade   el desfile
party   una fiesta
patriotism   el patriotismo
pride   el orgullo
red   rojo
reenactment   la representación
soldier   el soldado
tradition   la tradición
tribute   el homenaje
victory   la victoria
war   la guerra
white   blanco
     
Verbs    
to celebrate   celebrar
to commemorate   conmemorar
to defeat   vencer
to expel   expulsar
to fight   luchar
to lead   comandar
to unify   unificar
to win   ganar

 * Cinco de Mayo celebrates this particular battle, though the final defeat and expulsion of the invading French army occurred 5 years later.

Cinco de Mayo is not the same thing as Mexican Independence Day (el Grito de Dolores), which is celebrated on 16 September.

French listening comprehension Spanish listening practice

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Spanish vocabulary for Cinco de Mayo