Today is Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May. The holiday began in Mexico but today it is also celebrated in the United States. In fact, the U.S. celebrations are much bigger than the ones in Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo: Mexico
Cinco de Mayo is the day of Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. This battle was part of the Franco-Mexican War.
Around 6,000 French troops set out to attack the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles. Juarez was able to gather just 2,000 men. The Mexicans fortified the town as much as they could to prepare for the much larger French army. The battle lasted from sunup to early evening, but the Mexican troops were victorious, sending the French to retreat.
Known as the Battle of Puebla Day in Mexico, celebrations are small and observed mostly in Puebla. Traditional events include military parades and re-enactments of the battle.
Cinco de Mayo: U.S.
Not Independence Day
There is some confusion about Cinco de Mayo being the same as Mexican independence day, but it is not. Mexican independence was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla, and the event took place on September 16, 1810, not May 5.