On May 5, both sides of the Mexico–United States border celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Some Mexicans—primarily those who live in Puebla—observe it as a commemoration of Mexico defeating France in the Battle of Puebla, but north of the border the holiday has evolved into a widespread celebration of Mexican-American culture.
To see how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated across the United States, we analyzed each state’s Google search data from last year’s Cinco de Mayo. We found some interesting correlations. Turns out that most states celebrate with Mexican food and drinks, while other states could use an elementary Spanish lesson. Read on to see where your state falls in the mix.
Thirteen states searched “What is Cinco de Mayo?” We applaud these people for seeking answers. If you don’t know something—ask! That’s how you learn. Until a few years ago, I thought Cinco de Mayo was Mexico’s Independence Day. Fortunately, I had a coworker who informed me of my mistake. Not everyone has that coworker, but anyone can ask the Google.
While Puebla commemorates the holiday with a parade and other festivities, Americans like to drink. Fourteen of America’s fifty states, plus Washington DC, searched for terms revolving around drinks. Furthermore, 93% of those searches were directly related to alcoholic drinks—mostly tequila.
Montana was the only state to have the non-alcoholic beverage horchata (a cinnamon-vanilla rice drink) as its top-searched term on Cinco de Mayo.
If you’re one of the searchers in a state with food-related search trends (we’re looking at you, Delaware!), we’d suggest skipping the chain and celebrating the day by supporting local, Mexican American-owned restaurants. We guarantee it’ll taste better.
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Other than Delaware, Nevada was the only state to have a restaurant that wasn’t Mexican as its top search term. The term? Trump Tower Grill. If you recall this tweet from Donald Trump early in his campaign, you know the Trump Tower Grill is tangentially related to Cinco de Mayo.
Some people ask, “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” Others ask, “What color was George Washington’s white horse?” And the people in five different US states asked, “When is Cinco de Mayo?” The first two questions are jokes, but all three make me chuckle. For those of you who don’t get why “When is Cinco do Mayo?” is a redundant question, you might want to click here.
Not everyone knows Spanish, but this is basic stuff. Arizona seems to be most eager to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year—“When is Cinco de Mayo” was a top search term for the state. If you’re wondering when the day falls this year, it’s Friday—so you may want to start on those homemade tortillas now! Embrace your neighbors, people. We’re all in this together.
Another Interesting Tidbit
- Only three states had top search terms for things related to Mexican culture that aren’t edible: Wyoming and Rhode Island with “Mexican flag,” and Louisiana with “sombrero.”
How do you feel about what your state googled on Cinco de Mayo? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share this with your friends to find out what they think.