Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day but actually, the observance to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Puebla in the war during the French occupation of Mexico. In the United States, it is a festive celebration of Mexican culture. Lots of restaurants are offering special Cinco de Mayo deals and freebies this year, so here’s what you need to know about Chili’s Cinco de Mayo menu.
Limited Edition Cups, At-Home Margaritas, and a Dine-In Special For Reopened Locations
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Chili’s locations are only offering to-go pick-up and delivery. For Cinco de Mayo, the restaurant has launched limited-edition Cinco De Mayo cups and also to-go versions of the Chili’s Presidente Margarita and the Patron Margarita at participating locations.
According to the restaurant’s website, “Depending on your state’s alcohol restrictions, we’ve made our famous margaritas available either pre-mixed or in a Margarita Kit so you can celebrate safely in your home. We’ll be serving them with Limited Edition Cinco de Mayo cups, too!”
But to-go alcohol purchases must be made with a food order and you must be 21+ to purchase.
There will also be $5 Cinco De Mayo dine-in drink specials at locations that have been re-opened according to state guidelines. These drink specials include:
- Your local Chili’s draft beer selection
- Our world-famous Presidente Margarita
- Our new Patron Trifecta Margarita
The dine-in specials will also have the limited edition Cinco de Mayo cups while supplies last. To find out if your local Chili’s has re-opened for dine-in, check out the Find a Chili’s service here.
Chili’s is also doing a gift card promotion from now until June 28 where if you buy $50 worth of gift certificates, you get a free $10 e-bonus card.
What Is Cinco de Mayo?
Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo (the Fifth of May) to commemorate its victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
In that battle, the Mexican army was outmanned and outgunned but managed to defeat the much larger French army, which provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican forces. According to an account on Napoleon.org, French General Charles de Lorencez’s failed attack on the convent at Cerro de Guadalupe hill in southern Mexico led to a retreat and a pursuit by the Mexican army, driving the French forces out of Orizaba.
In subsequent battles, the French would be victorious over the Mexican forces, eventually taking Mexico City in 1863. But the Mexican people fought back and in 1966, the French withdrew from the country.
A common misconception about Cinco de Mayo is that it is Mexico’s independence day, much like how the United States celebrates its independence on the Fourth of July. But in actuality, Mexico’s independence day is celebrated on September 16, which is the day that started the Mexican War of Independence. Mexico also observes the end of the war, which lasted for 11 years, on September 27.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become more of a general celebration of Mexican heritage rather than an observance of the specific Battle of Puebla. U.S. customs include cultural festivals with food and music, folklore demonstrations that include traditional Mexican dancing and mariachi music, or units taught in school about the day and its historical significance.