Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday that honors the Mexican victory over the French army at Puebla de Los Angeles in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for 5th of May which is when it is celebrated. The holiday commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually September 16th, which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
In 1861, Mexico had stopped making interest payments to its main creditors. In response, in late 1861, France and other European countries attacked Mexico to try to force payment. France invaded Mexico and was successful at first but on May 5th, 1862 Mexican forces were able to defeat an attack by the French army.
Celebrations – official version
The holiday is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla because that’s where the battle originated. The celebrations combine food, music and dancing and in Mexico City, all the young men who serve the military pledge allegiance to the Mexican national flag.
Celebrations – unofficial version
University students around the world are ALWAYS looking for another good reason to party … and Cinco de Mayo has a great ring to it, is synonymous with tequila and can certainly form the basis of a good party! Of course people who “used to be students” (could be almost anyone) can also carry on this tradition. So … its a fair bet that Tex-Mex restaurants around the world will be doing a roaring trade in Coronas and Tequila tomorrow!!! Now THERE is an idea 🙂