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How to Celebrate a Sober Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a widely celebrated holiday in the United States, often associated with indulging in tequila shots and margaritas. However, for those who are sober, the holiday can present a unique challenge. It is easy to feel left out or overwhelmed by the party atmosphere when everyone around you is drinking. But just because you choose not to drink does not mean you cannot celebrate this day in a fun and meaningful way. Faith in Recovery is sharing some enjoyable ways to celebrate a sober Cinco de Mayo that can help you feel more connected to the holiday's history and culture.

History of Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, which literally translates to "the fifth of May" in Spanish, commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.1 The battle was fought in the city of Puebla, located in central Mexico, and was a significant moment in Mexican history. The French, under the leadership of Napoleon III, were trying to establish a colonial empire in Mexico and had been successful in several battles before their defeat in Puebla.1 Although the Mexican victory was a symbolic one and did not ultimately stop the French from occupying Mexico, it was a morale boost for the Mexican army and people and helped inspire resistance against the French occupation.1

While Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, some are surprised to learn it is celebrated more widely in the United States than in Mexico itself. This can be attributed to the influence of Mexican American communities in the US, who began celebrating the holiday in the late 19th century as a way of maintaining their cultural heritage. Today, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, festivals, and parties across the United States and has become a symbol of Mexican American pride and heritage. Many of these celebrations involve a heavy amount of drinking, which makes it hard for some to feel capable of partaking.

Ways to Enjoy the Sober Celebrations

For individuals in recovery from alcoholism, celebrating Cinco de Mayo sober can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are many ways to celebrate this holiday without alcohol, such as:

  • Host a non-alcoholic fiesta: Gather your friends and family and throw a fiesta that does not involve alcohol. Decorate your home with colorful decorations, streamers, and balloons to create a festive atmosphere. Serve authentic Cinco de Mayo food like tacos, guacamole, and chips with salsa. You can also serve virgin margaritas or other non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Attend a sober Cinco de Mayo event: Look for sober Cinco de Mayo events in your community, like a sober dance party, a potluck, or a movie night. These events can provide a fun and safe environment to celebrate the holiday without the pressure to drink.
  • Take a Mexican cooking class: Sign up for a cooking class and learn how to make some of the most delicious and traditional foods in Mexico, like tamales, enchiladas, or mole (pronounced “mo-lay”). This can be a fun and educational way to celebrate the holiday and learn new cooking skills.
  • Volunteer at a local Mexican cultural center: Reach out to a local Mexican cultural center and see if they have any volunteer opportunities. You can help with the set-up and cleanup of a Cinco de Mayo event or assist with other tasks.
  • Watch a Mexican movie or documentary: Watch a Mexican movie or documentary to learn more about the history and culture of Mexico. This can be a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday and gain a better understanding of its significance.

As you can see, a sober Cinco de Mayo has all the potential to be a day worth remembering. For those who are interested in achieving their own sobriety, many Banyan locations offer Christ-centered addiction treatment for alcoholism.

Our Faith-Based Recovery Programs

Our Christian-based rehab is equipped with various programs, including medical detox and residential treatment options, that provide an environment that is supportive of spiritual and personal growth. There is a unique sense of fulfillment that comes with faith-based addiction recovery, allowing patients to strengthen their own relationships with God while pursuing treatment.

To learn how these programs can help you or a loved one achieve sobriety, call us today at 888-280-4763.


  1. History – Cinco de Mayo

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