Cinco de Mayo
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CINCO DE MAYO

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Wednesday, May 5 in 2021, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
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Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Wednesday, May 5 in 2021, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko̞ ðe̞ ˈma̠ʝo̞] in Mexico, Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.[1][2] The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. Zaragoza died months after the battle due to illness. A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders.

More popularly celebrated in the United States than in Mexico,[3][4][5][6][7] the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies.
Cinco de Mayo, (Spanish: “Fifth of May”) also called Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honour of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

When in 1861 Mexico declared a temporary moratorium on the repayment of foreign debts, English, Spanish, and French troops invaded the country. By April 1862 the English and Spanish had withdrawn, but the French, with the support of wealthy landowners, remained in an attempt to establish a monarchy under Maximilian of Austria and to curb U.S. power in North America. On May 5, 1862, a poorly equipped mestizo and Zapotec force under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops at the Battle of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City; about 1,000 French troops were killed. Although the fighting continued and the French were not driven out for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park.
Cinco de Mayo is a time when Americans celebrate Mexico, and Mexicans grumble that Americans have no idea what they're celebrating. This year, there is data to back up that perception - well, if you can count a poll paid for by Avocados from Mexico as reliable data. The poll says that only 22% of Americans know what Cinco de Mayo is actually about. Here's the real history.

In 1862, during the U.S. Civil War, the French Army marched towards Mexico City. Emperor Napoleon III was eager to establish a second Mexican empire favorable to the French, an outpost in the New World that would serve as a kind of replacement for all that French land his uncle decided to sell to Thomas Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase. So he sent a fleet to attack Veracruz, land of force and head to Mexico City. But they were defeated before they could even get there - at the Mexican city of Puebla - when a young Mexican general named Ignacio Zaragoza beat back the French troops in a bloody confrontation.
For many Americans, Cinco de Mayo means enjoying Mexican food and probably a few margaritas. But Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood Mexican holidays.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independence day. Mexican independence is celebrated Sept.16.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.

Today, Cinco de Mayo has become more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. But most non-Mexican Americans have "no idea" about the day's history, said Carlos Tortolero, president of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
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