Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican independence as many Americans believe. Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over the French in Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. It is not formally observed in Mexico countrywide. It is a full holiday in the states of Puebla and Veracruz, where parades, battle reenactments, and poblano culture displays are held.
The 5th of May is a popular party holiday in America and other countries. How did it become so popular in the U.S.? It was introduced to encourage pride in Mexican Americans back in the 1800s. Like St. Patrick’s Day, this patriotic holiday has been commercialized into a time to party. A 2018 survey by NationalToday.com showed only 10% of Americans knew the true reason behind the holiday, yet it has turned into a day where people can get cheap margaritas and eat tacos.
If you like to celebrate the day with your family, I suggest you include a little history about the Battle of Puebla in 1862. French forces sent by Napoleon III were on the march to Mexico City and encountered the Mexican Army in Puebla. The small Mexican army in Pueblo defeated the French in a historic battle on May 5th. Ultimately the French did win the war, but the day celebrates the resilience of the Mexican people to resist invaders who are trying to take their land.Read More