- May 5 -

Cinco de Mayo

Literally

Cinco de Mayo

Literally "the Fifth of May," Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as they wanted to collect on some war debts. The French army was much larger, better trained and equipped than the Mexicans struggling to defend the road to Mexico City. It rolled through Mexico until it reached Puebla, where the Mexicans made a valiant stand, and, against all logic, won a huge victory. It was short-lived, as the French army regrouped and continued; eventually taking Mexico City, but the euphoria of an unlikely victory against overwhelming odds is remembered every May fifth.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States of America, by Mexicans and Americans alike, than it is in Mexico. One theory for why it is more popular in the USA is that at one time, it was celebrated in all of Mexico and by Mexicans living in former Mexican territories such as Texas and California. It was ignored in Mexico after a while but still celebrated north of the border, which never got out of the habit of remembering the famous battle.

In Puebla and in many USA cities with large Mexican populations, there are parades, dancing and festivals. Traditional Mexican food is often served or sold. Mariachi bands fill town squares, and a lot of Dos Equis and Corona beers are served. It’s a fun holiday, really more about celebrating the Mexican way of life than about remembering a battle which happened 150 years ago. It is sometimes referred to as a “Mexican St. Patrick’s Day.” In the USA, schoolchildren do units on the holiday, decorate their classrooms and try their hand at cooking some basic Mexican foods. All over the world, Mexican restaurants bring in Mariachi bands and offer specials for what’s almost certain to be a packed house.

Source:
http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/thehistoryofmexico/p/10cincodemayobasics.htm

Categories:

More holidays on this day:

International Midwives' Day
Kodomo no Hi - Children's Day (Japan)

You may also like...

Interesting events from History category.

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January, is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust , the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million Jews, 2 million Gypsies (Roma and Sinti), 15,000 homosexual people and millions of others by the Nazi regime...

Kamehameha Day

Kamehameha Day on June 11 is a public holiday of the state of Hawaii in the United States. It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawai‘i — comprising the Hawaiian Islands of Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i,...

Argentina's Independence Day

Independence of Argentina was declared on July 9, 1816 by the Congress of Tucumán. In reality, the congressmen that were assembled in Tucumán declared the independence of the United Provinces of South America, which is still today one of the legal names of the Argentine Republic. The Federal...

Swiss National Day

The Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fete nationale Suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August. It is an official national holiday since 1994, although the day had been suggested for...

Purple Heart Anniversary

'Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the purple heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen.' - George Washington, August 7, 1782 The Purple Heart is a decoration awarded in the name of the President to...

India's Independence Day

"At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new...India discovers herself again." - Jawaharlal Nehru After more than two hundred years...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet