Fun Fact Friday: Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo, also known as the Fifth of May, is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it has become a widely celebrated event in the United States and other parts of the world. In this article, we will explore the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it is celebrated today.
An anonymous painter's depiction of the Battle of Puebla; displayed at Museo Nacional de las Interveciones in Mexico City, DF
History of Cinco de Mayo
In the 19th century, Mexico was in financial trouble and was unable to pay its debts to France, Britain, and Spain. In response, the three countries sent their armies to Mexico to force the government to pay its debts. The Spanish and British eventually withdrew their forces, but the French decided to stay and attempt to establish a French-controlled government in Mexico. The French army was led by General Charles Latrille de Lorencez, and they were met by a much smaller Mexican army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza.
The battle took place in the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the Mexican army was able to defeat the French army, which was considered one of the most powerful in the world at that time. The victory at the Battle of Puebla was a significant morale boost for the Mexican army and people, as it showed that they could stand up against a much larger and better-equipped foreign army.
The victory at the Battle of Puebla did not end the French occupation of Mexico, and the French eventually overthrew the Mexican government and established a French-controlled government in Mexico City. However, the victory at the Battle of Puebla was a significant moment in Mexican history and is still celebrated today.
Cinco De Mayo Today
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place. The holiday is marked with parades, speeches, and reenactments of the battle. In other parts of Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday and is not widely celebrated.
In the United States, however, Cinco de Mayo has become a popular holiday, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. The holiday is celebrated with parades, festivals, and parties that feature traditional Mexican food, music, and dance.
One of the most popular Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States takes place in Los Angeles, where a parade has been held annually since 1896. The parade features floats, marching bands, and traditional Mexican dancers.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While the holiday is a relatively minor one in Mexico, it has become a widely celebrated event in the United States and other parts of the world. The holiday is marked with parades, festivals, and parties that feature traditional Mexican food, music, and dance, and it is seen by many as a way to celebrate Mexican-American culture and history.