Here’s a background on Mexican Independence Day and 5 de mayo :




16 de Septiembre:
El Grito de Independencia

Independence Day

by May Herz

El Grito every 16th of September is the Mexican Fiesta par excellence! On this day Mexicans all over the world celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule.


As you know, indigenous peoples were the first to inhabit what is now known as Mexico. They created great civilizations such as the Olmec, the Teotihuacan, Maya, Toltec, and of course the most powerful of all, the Aztec Empire.

After Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, the Spaniards carried out expeditions to find gold and riches from these faraway lands. In 1521, about 500 Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico, headed by an ambitious man: Hernán Cortés. At this time, the Aztecs had built a great empire that ruled over all Mesoamérica. So the Spaniards decided to direct their attacks towards them.


The indigenous nations that were under the Aztec rule were tired of the physical and economic hardships imposed upon them by this empire. This circumstance made them think that by helping the Conquerors defeat the Aztecs, they would be better off. So they decided to aid the Spaniards.

This is how the Conquest of what is now Mexico began.


On the 13th of August 1521, Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec emperor was captured. The indigenous allies of the Spaniards raided Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire.

They didn’t know it at the time, but they had been liberated from one oppressor and fallen in the hands of a much more powerful authoritarian.


This was the beginning of three centuries of Spanish rule. The new colony was named Nueva España, New Spain.

The years that followed were devastating. The conquerors brought with them diseases unknown to the natives. The epidemics that broke out as well as the merciless workload imposed upon the natives dramatically diminished the Indian population. There were approximately 20 million Indians inhabiting this territory before the Conquest, and after just one century of Spanish rule there were only 1 million left!


Colonial society was highly stratified. Spaniards born in Spain, occupied the higher echelons, followed by Criollos, those born in Mexico from Spanish parents; Mestizos, the mix- blood offspring of Spaniards and Natives; Indios, Native Indians; Negros, African slaves.


Each socio-ethnic group had different rights and duties. The privileged were the peninsular Spaniards. Discontent steadily grew, especially amongst the Criollos, who were always treated as second-class subjects of the Spanish Crown. It is no surprise then, that Criollos were the spark that ignited the Independence movement.


In 1808, Napoleon invaded Spain, and decided to impose his brother José Bonaparte, as king of Spain (1808-1810).

The Criollos found in this circumstance the opportunity to seek their independence form Spain.

Influenced by the concepts of liberty, equality and democracy proposed by the French philosophers Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and by the war of Independence of the United States, they decided to start a revolt. It was 1810, and their plan was to start the war on the 2nd of October. Unfortunately, their plans were discovered in early September. The movement was in trouble. They had two alternatives; either abandon their plans, or move faster and start the revolt immediately. Fortunately for our country they decided upon the second alternative.


In the early hours of September 16,1810, father Hidalgo, accompanied by several conspirators –Iganacio Allende, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez- rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to fight for liberty. This was the beginning of the Independence War, which lasted 10 years.



And this is the moment that every 16th of September is re enacted in every plaza or zócalo of Mexico, and commemorated by Mexicans all over the world.

Streets, houses, buildings and cars are decorated everywhere in the country. On every street corner there are vendors selling flags, balloons, sombreros and rehiletes -shuttlecock, all with the green, white and red, our National Colors.

Flags wave from practically every house and building.


Lighted decorations are set up in every city, the most spectacular being those of the Zócalo, main plaza, in Mexico City. This main plaza of every town and city is the place where the great 16 De Septiembre celebrations take place. People of all ages come to this fiesta, to take part in the collective gaiety!


Food is always a very important part of these festivities. Literarily hundreds of stands are set up several days before and offer the traditional antojitos, most aptly described as a variety of finger foods, Mexican candies, and punch. Punch. ponche, is a drink made of fruits that are in season: guayabas, sugarcane, raisins and apples, and such a delicious aroma!


During September, Mes de la Patria, the month of our nation as it is called in Mexico, restaurants serve traditional Mexican dishes, such as Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada, Guacamole and chips.


During the evening of September 15, people start gathering in the zócalo. Many people walk around dressed in typical Mexican dress: men as Charros and women as China Poblanas, or indigenous dresses. Those who don't own a typical outfit, at least dress find something to wear in the colors of the flag.


Live Mariachi Music bands play to the delight of all present. There are also photography stands where one can have a picture taken, attired with a sombrero and atop a wooden horse!


The euphoria is collective and all are prepared to shout, yell and make as much noise as possible with fake trumpets, noisemakers and whistles!


As the evening advances, the plaza gradually fills with more and more people; suddenly there is practically no room to move. Excitement and euphoria reach a crescendo at the culminating moment when a government official arrives in the zócalo, at 11:00 P.M. to give the grito or cry of Independence. This ritual recreates the moment in which Father Hidalgo, gathered his followers in Dolores Guanajuato.


It is customary for our President to deliver the grito in Mexico City’s zócalo. It is in this plaza, atop Palacio Nacional, the National Palace -a beautiful colonial building where the President’s offices are located-, that the original bell rung by Hidalgo is placed. And this is the bell that is rung
every 16th of September.


The ceremony reaches the high point when the crowd joins in proudly shouting out the names of the heroes of our Independence, to end with the exciting VIVA MÉXICO!


When the grito ceremony ends, the sky lights up with multicolored rockets that shower our hearts with the pride of knowing that we are a free and independent nation.


For those of you who may not know the difference between 5 de mayo and Mex. Independence Day, I hope that you learned something.  For all you future  teachers, I hope you can get a little out of this for your lesson plans.

J  Keep Scrolling For Some Holiday FUN! J


5 de Mayo

La Batalla de Puebla


Puebla – El Templo de San Agustin



Cinco de mayo de 1862 - La Batalla de Puebla.

¡Viva México! ¡Viva Juárez! Viva el 5 de mayo!

The 5th of May is celebrated in the United States among the Mexican-American population, especially in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Various Mexican-American societies use the celebrations to commemorate the overthrow of the Mexican Imperial Monarchy headed by Maximilian of Austria. The Imperial Monarchy was imposed from 1864 to 1867 on Mexico by Napoleon III, Emperor of France (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) and the Mexican conservatives "Club de Notables".

The Mexican-American societies were formed after the Mexican-American war (1846-1848) in response to atrocities committed by US. troops occupying the lands annexed by the US. following the war. The war was settled by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with fifteen million dollars in payment for the annexed lands. The societies originally consisted of home guard units but evolved into social societies as stability returned to the US Southwest. These societies contributed large amounts of material and money to the Mexican Constitutional Government in its fight against the Mexican Imperial Monarchy.

In 1858, Benito Juárez was elected President of the United States of Mexico to defend the Mexican Constitution established on February 5th, 1857. After much internal struggle, Juárez was re-elected in 1861. Because of financial instability, mainly due to the Mexican-American war, the Mexican Congress suspended foreign debt repayment for two years.

The creditors in Europe (England, Spain and France) decided intervention was needed to collect the debts. Unbeknownst to the other two, France had its own agenda. France wanted to dispose of the Mexican Constitutional Government and set up a monarchy favorable to France. Napoleon III, Emperor of the Second French Empire had grandiose plans to impose a monarchical government upon the nations of Central and South America. This was to provide raw materials and trade for the European nations as well as check the growing power of the US Republic following the annexation of California, Arizona and New Mexico.

France's designs were formented and abetted by the plutocratic and conservative land owners of Mexico who feared loss of land and political power to the newly elected constitutional government of Benito Juárez. On December 8th, 1861 the European powers landed and occupied Veracruz, Spain arrived first. By April 11, 1862 after realizing France's intent, England and Spain withdrew their support.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, President Juárez (a full blooded Zapotec Indian, and a lawyer who had studied to become a priest), was taking countermeasures: "There is no help but in defense but I can assure you... the Imperial Government will not succeed in subduing the Mexicans, and its armies will not have a single day of peace... we must stop them, not only for our country but for the respect of the sovereignty of the nations"(1). Juarez declared martial law and declared all areas occupied by the French in a state of siege.

After reinforcements arrived, a French force of (7,000) seven thousand set out on the (225) two hundred twenty five mile route to Mexico City in early April under the illusion that the Mexican people would welcome them. This illusion was fostered by Juan N. Almonte, a Mexican reactionary, and by Count Dubois du Saligny appointed French Ambassador to Mexico by Napoleon. Presidente Juárez commanded General Ignacio Zaragoza to block the advance of the French Army with 2,000 soldiers at the fortified hills of Loreto and Guadalupe by the city of Puebla.

On May 5th, 1862, cannons boomed and rifle shots rang out as the French soldiers attacked the two forts. Before the day was over, one fort was in ruins and more than a thousand French soldiers were dead. The Mexicans had won the battle, but not the war. Yet, this date was established as symbolic of the Mexicans' courage against a formidable army.

In June 1864, Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Charlotte arrived in Mexico City as the crowned Emperor of the newly formed Mexican Empire. Although Maximilian organized the administration, liberated the Indians from servitude, and developed the natural resources of the country, he was unable to avoid the opposition of the Mexican patriots. The republicans, led by Benito Juárez, did not accept the foreign intervention. They went north and requested assistance from the Californians and other Mexican-American societies to help them with volunteers and financial support.

Finally, Maximilian was overthrown and captured on May 15, 1867, tried by court martial, and executed by firing squad on June 19 at the Cerro de las Campanas along with his generals Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía.

The 5 de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday. The battlefield is now a park in Puebla with a statue of General Zaragoza riding horseback. One of the forts is a war museum with a display of hundreds of toy soldiers set up to show what had happened that day. But it is in the United States of America where the celebration is more festive consisting of parades, music, folklore, dances and food. These festivities are mainly fund raising events and for solidarity among the Mexican-Americans.

Our Sinclair Community College morning and evening Spanish 103 students researched this historical event as a class project.

Cinco de mayo de 1862 - La Batalla de Puebla

¡Viva México! ¡Viva Juárez! Viva el 5 de mayo!

Los mexicano-americanos celebran el 5 de mayo, especialmente en los estados de California, Arizona, Nuevo México y Texas. Los habitantes de estos estados tuvieron una participación muy importante y contribuyeron al derrocamiento del Imperio de Maximiliano de Habsburgo (de Austria). La Monarquía Imperial fue impuesta desde 1864 hasta 1867 en México por Napoleón III Emperador de Francia (sobrino de Napoleón Bonaparte) y por el grupo conservador mexicano del "Club de Notables".

Estas sociedades mexicano-norteamericanas se formaron después de la guerra contra México (1846-1848) como respuesta a las atrocidades cometidas por las tropas americanas que ocuparon las tierras anexadas por los Estados Unidos de América al terminar la guerra. La distribución de estas tierras fueron de acuerdo con el Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo y con el pago de ($15,000,000.00) quince millones de dólares. Estas sociedades establecieron una guardia de vigilantes, con la finalidad de proteger sus hogares hasta que el orden se estableció en la parte suroeste de los Estados Unidos. Entonces se volvieron en sociedades de tipo social. Fueron estas sociedades las que contribuyeron en gran parte con financiamiento para el Gobierno Constitucional Mexicano en su lucha contra la Monarquía Imperial Mexicana.

En 1858, Benito Juárez fue elegido Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos para defender la Constitución establecida el 5 de febrero de 1857. Después de varias luchas internas, Juárez fue reelecto en 1861. Debido a la inestabilidad financiera, causada por la guerra mexicano-americana, el Congreso Mexicano acordó suspender los pagos de la deuda exterior durante dos años.

Los acreedores en Europa (Inglaterra, España y Francia) decidieron que la intervención sería la mejor manera de cobrarse la deuda. Francia tenía su propia agenda, la cual era desconocida por Inglaterra y España. Napoleón III, Emperador del Segundo Imperio Francés quería establecer una monarquía favorable para Francia, y asimismo, quería disolver el Gobierno Constitucional Mexicano. Sus planes de grandiosidad consistían en extender esta monarquía hasta Centro y Sudamérica para proveer de materia prima y comercio a Europa y al mismo tiempo estar cerca de la República de los Estados Unidos la cual crecía en poder después de anexar California, Nuevo México y Arizona.

Los designios descabellados de Francia fueron fomentados y confabulados por los terratenientes plutocráticos y los conservadores de México que temían perder su poderío y sus tierras al nuevo gobierno constitucional del Presidente Juárez. El 8 de diciembre de 1861, los poderes europeos desembarcaron en el Puerto de Veracruz y lo ocuparon, siendo España la primera en llegar. Para el 11 de abril de 1862 España e Inglaterra se enteraron de las intenciones de Francia y abandonaron su apoyo embarcándose hacia Europa.

Mientras tanto, en la ciudad de México, el Presidente Juárez (indio zapoteca que se había licenciado como abogado y había estudiado para el sacerdocio) tomaba medidas para contrarrestar la invasión: "El gobierno de la República...en vista de la declaración de los plenipotenciarios franceses, no puede ni debe hacer otra cosa que rechazar la fuerza con la fuerza y defender a la nación de la agresión injusta con la que se la amenaza. ...Tengamos fe en la justicia de nuestra causa... haciendo triunfar no sólo a nuestra patria, sino a los principios de respeto y de inviolabilidad de la soberanía de las naciones" (1). El Presidente Juárez declaró la ley marcial en todas las áreas ocupadas por los franceses en estado de sitio.

Cuando llegaron las tropas de refuerzo francesas, el ejército se componía de (7.000) siete mil soldados que salieron en la ruta de (225) doscientas veinticinco millas hacia la ciudad de México a principios de abril con la ilusión de que los mexicanos les darían la bienvenida. Esta ilusión fue nutrida por Juan N. Almonte, un reaccionario mexicano, y por el Conde Dubois de Saligny, el embajador francés, nombrador por Napoleón. El Presidente Juárez le dió la orden al General Ignacio Zaragoza de detener el avance de las fuerzas armadas francesas en los fuertes de Loreto y Guadalupe cerca de la ciudad de Puebla. Zaragoza contaba con sólo (2,000) dos mil hombres.

El 5 de mayo de 1862, los cañones resonaron y los rifles dispararon y más de (1,000) mil soldados franceses cayeron muertos. Los mexicanos habían ganado la batalla, pero no la guerra. Sin embargo, esta fecha es la que simboliza el valor mexicano ante una armada tan formidable.

Para junio de 1864, Maximiliano de Habsburgo y su esposa Carlota (austriacos) llegaron a la ciudad de México para tomar posesión del recién formado Imperio Mexicano y fueron coronados como el Emperador y la Emperatriz de México. Aunque Maximiliano organizó la administración del gobierno, liberó a los indios de la esclavitud, y desarrolló los recursos naturales del país, no pudo evitar la oposición de los patriotas mexicanos. Los republicanos, al mando de Benito Juárez, no aceptaron la intervención extranjera. Se refugiaron en el norte del país y les pidieron ayuda a los californianos y a otras sociedades mexicano-norteamericanas con financiamiento y voluntarios para la lucha.

Finalmente, Maximiliano fue derrotado y capturado el 15 de mayo de 1867; fue juzgado por una corte marcial y ejecutado por una escuadra de fusilamiento el 19 de junio en el Cerro de las Campanas con sus generales Miguel Miramón y Tomás Mejía.

El 5 de mayo es una fiesta nacional mexicana. El campo de batalla es ahora un parque en Puebla con la estatua del General Zaragoza montado a caballo. Uno de los fuertes es ahora un museo de historia que describe a escala con soldados de juguete lo ocurrido durante la Batalla de Puebla. Pero es en los Estados Unidos de América donde se celebra de una forma más festiva con desfiles, música, bailes folclóricos y comida. Estas festividades son para recaudar fondos para obras benéficas y como demonstración de la solidaridad que existe entre los mexicano-norteamericanos.

Los estudiantes de Español 103 de la mañana y de la noche del Sinclair Community College fueron quienes hicieron este trabajo de investigación histórica como proyecto de grupo.


Adams, Nicholson B. The Heritage of Spain, 1983.
I. E. Jr., Benito Juarez. New York: Wayne Publication, Inc. 1993
Hanna, Alfred and Kathryn. Napoleon III and
Harding, Bertita Lonarz de. Phantom Crown
Mexico: Ediciones Tolteca, S. A., 1967.
Ludwig, Emil. Napoleon
O'Commor, Richard.
The Cactus Throne.
New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 1971
Riva Palacio, D. Vicente.
Mexico a traves de los siglos. Tomo V. Mexico: Ballesca y Comp. Editores, ?
Ruiz, Ramon Eduardo. Triumphs and Tragedy.
New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 1992.
Tyrner -Tyrnaner, A.R. Lincoln and the Emperors.
New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. 1962
American Encyclopedia
Enciclopedia Barsa.
Buenos Aires, Chicago, Mexico: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 1970
Encyclopaedia Brittanica.
Encyclopedia Hispanica. Volume M
Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, Compton's NewMedia, Inc. Version 2.00 VW 1994. or What do Mexicans celebrate on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)

Holiday Fun 1:




Help your children create a festive poncho that will help get them in the mood for Cinco de Mayo or any other fiesta!



·        1 white or off white pillowcase

·        Safety scissors

·        Non-toxic crayons

·        PARENTS ONLY – Iron

·        Paper grocery bag

·        Thick yarn

·        Hole punch




·        Cut along the long sides of the pillowcase so that there is only one seam left at the top.

·        Cut a "v" neck out off the front of the fabric and a scoop neck on the back. You can use your child's t-shirt as a guide for how large you should cut the opening.

·        Using the crayons, allow your child to color a pattern on the front of the fabric. Be sure that they press hard enough so that the colors are bright on the fabric.

·        When they have completed coloring their design, lay out their poncho on an ironing board. Place an open brown paper bag over the entire front, covering the entire design. Place another pillowcase over the paper bag. Press down over the whole poncho with a hot iron. This will melt the crayon wax into the fabric so that it will not be easily scratched off.

·        Punch three holes about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the poncho. One should be in the center, the other two can be about 2 inches from each side of the pillowcase.

·        For each tassel cut 4 pieces of yarn about 12 inches in length. Take 3 of these pieces and thread them through one of the holes so that 6 inches of yarn is on each side.

·        To form the tassle, bring each of the 6 inch pieces of yarn together and tie together just below the bottom edge of the poncho. (see template)

·        Repeat this process at each remaining hole.




·        Bright colors work well on these ponchos.




·        Plan a fiesta and make a poncho for each child attending. You can also make maracas and a piñata (see related activities) to add to the authenticity of your party.

·        Talk to your kids about Cinco de Mayo.

·        Cinco de Mayo commemorates an important Mexican victory that occurred on May 5th, 1862. Today, Mexican and Mexican Americans honor the Day with parades, music, fun and dance as a celebration of Mexican liberty, unity and culture.




Holiday FUN 2


Gather your whole family to construct this festive Sombrero Piñata with matching stick and mask. It makes Cinco de Mayo, or any occasion, a fiesta to remember. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans observe Cinco de Mayo---the date of an important Mexican victory---with parades, music, fun and dance to celebrate Mexican unity and culture. Everyone is invited to join the festivities!



This is a 2 day project

·        1 – 1/2 inch wide by 3 foot long wooden dowel

·        1 – 12 inch balloon

·        1 – 24 inch by 24 inch sheet of cardboard (you can tape several small pieces together)

·        1 – 2 inches wide by 80 inches long piece of cardboard (you can tape several pieces together)

·        3 – 8 oz. paper cups

·        1 newspaper cut into 1 inch wide strips

·        60 – 20 inch by 20 inch sheets of yellow tissue paper. Tissue should come in folded packets of 10 to 12 sheets

·        10 – 20 inch by 20 inch sheets each of red, green and white tissue paper

·        1 disposable casserole dish (available at the grocery store)

·        1 wire hanger

·        1 - 9 inch by 12 inch sheet of red felt

·        20 inches of 1/4 inch wide red ribbon

·        Masking tape

·        1 - 64 oz. container of liquid starch

·        Craft glue gun and at least 40 glue sticks or 1 bottle of craft glue

·        Wire cutters (available at the hardware store)

·        Craft knife

·        One hole punch





For the Piñata:

·        Draw a free hand circle on the sheet of cardboard. Make sure the circle touches all four edges of the cardboard so that it's about 24 inches in diameter.

·        Bend the 2 inch wide strip of cardboard around the edge of the circle at a right angle. Tack it in place with masking tape as you move along the edge. This will form the brim of your sombrero.

·        Once the brim is securely in place, cut shallow curves into it to vary the width of the brim slightly.

·        Inflate a 12 inch balloon and use a ring of masking tape to secure it to the center of the circle. Run 4 or 5 pieces of tape down the sides of the balloon to further secure it to the base.

·        Cut a slit down one side of each 8 oz. paper cup and remove the circular bottom of each cup.

·        Piece the two cut cups together to form a wide cone. Place the wider end of the cone on top of the balloon and secure it with masking tape.

·        Fill the casserole dish with liquid starch.

·        Dip newspaper strips in the starch, one at a time. Wring excess starch off of the newspaper by running it between your fingers before applying it to the surface of the sombrero.

·        Apply strips to the surface, beginning at the crown and working down. It is not necessary to cover the entire underside of the sombrero, but the strips should extend over the brim and onto the underside by at least two inches.

·        Overlap each strip with the next as you go along, being careful to smooth out any wrinkles as they form.

·        Use the paper strips to build out the gap where the balloon meets the brim so that it forms an even cone shape rather than a round balloon shape.

·        Continue layering the newspaper strips until a smooth cohesive surface is attained and the papier-mâché is at least 7 layers thick in all areas.

·        Let the sombrero dry completely overnight.

·        While waiting for the sombrero to dry, remove folded tissue from the package but DO NOT UNFOLD.

·        Cut folded tissue crosswise into 1 inch wide strips. (Reserve one whole tissue sheet of each color to make the pom-pom for the stick.)

·        Along one cut edge of each 1 inch folded strip make perpendicular 1/2 inch cuts at 1/4 inch intervals.

·        PARENTS ONLY: Unwind a wire coat hanger and straighten, leaving only the original end used for hanging curved. This will be the "hook" that will let you hang your piñata. Use wire cutters to make an angled cut at the other end of the hanger.

·        Make sure that the piñata is completely dry, and then insert the cut end of the coat hanger through the top of the sombrero's crown. This will pop the balloon inside.

·        Keep pushing the hanger until it pokes out of the bottom of the piñata. You may have to take the hanger out, straighten it and reinsert it before successfully piercing the bottom.

·        Continue pushing the hanger through until there is a 5-inch piece showing. Bend it at a right angle and tape it to the bottom of the piñata so that the wire cannot pull back through.

·        Now you are ready to begin applying the tissue paper.

·        Unfold the cut strips and separate them into single layers of tissue.

·        Start by turning the piñata over and gluing one row of yellow tissue to the outside edge of the underside of the brim. Make sure the ruffled edge faces out.

·        Overlap each row as you continue laying down the tissue. Work your way to the center in a circular, spiraling pattern.

·        When the bottom is completely covered, turn the piñata over and begin gluing yellow tissue at the bottom outside edge of the brim. The ruffled edge should be pointing down and meeting the ruffles from the bottom surface.

·        Continue adding overlapping strips of yellow tissue until you reach the base of the crown.

·        Go around the base of the crown 3 times each with the cut green, white and red tissue strips. This will form the hatband.

·        PARENTS ONLY: Use a craft knife to cut a 3 sided, 3 inch by 4 inch flap in the uncovered part of the crown.

·        Bend the flap out towards you and fill the inside of the piñata with candy, like NESTLÉ BABY RUTH, BUTTERFINGER OR CRUNCH Fun Size Bars.

·        Bend the flap back into place and tape shut with masking tape.

·        Now continue covering with the yellow tissue strips until you reach the top of the sombrero.

For the Stick:

·        Wind the remaining red, green, white and yellow cut tissue strips around a 3-foot long wooden dowel. Hold the end of each strip in place with a small spot of glue. Each section of color should be about 3-inches wide.

·        When the entire stick is covered, finish the end with a pom-pom made of all the colors.

·        To make the pom-pom, fold a whole tissue sheet into a 4 inch by 7 inch rectangle.

·        Cut 6 inch long slits at 14 inch intervals along the shorter side of the rectangle. Repeat with each color.

·        Wrap these strips, one color on top of the other, around the end of the stick. Glue to adhere.

·        Finish by wrapping one last section of ruffled tissue around the glued end of the pom-pom.

For the Mask:

·        Cut the red ribbon into 2 – 10 inch pieces.

·        Use the mask template to trace and cut out two mask shapes from the red felt.

·        Punch one hole on either side of ONE of the mask shapes. This will be the front of the mask.

·        Thread one ribbon through each hole and tie into place.

·        Glue overlapping layers of the ruffled tissue left from the piñata to the front of the mask. Vary the colors to give it a festive look.

·        Turn the decorated mask front over and glue the second mask to it. This will cover any tissue edges that were folded over and make the mask more comfortable to wear.




·        After the sombrero is dry, you may choose to paint the surface using acrylic paints, instead of applying the layers of ruffled tissue. The hatband can still be made from ruffled tissue or you can apply bands of colorful ribbons.




·        Breaking the candy filled Piñata is a great party activity but you may also want to make one to decorate your child's room.

·        Check our Local Fun finder to see if there are local Cinco de Mayo events that you and your children can participate in.

·        Teach your child a few basic words in Spanish, such as:

·        Fiesta

·        Hola

·        Adios

·        Niño

·        Niña

·        Pero

·        Gato

·        Leche


You can get more cool ideas from the homepage of this one, for any holiday, just got to: