- 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.

Anti Terrorism Day

Martyrdom of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, also known as Anti Terrorism Day is observed across India on 21 May. The date so chosen is to commemorate the death anniversary of one of the most eminent Prime Ministers of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991). He had been...

Independence Day of Eritrea

The Independence Day of Eritrea is one of the most important public holidays in the country. It is observed on May 24 every year. On this day in 1991, Eritrean People's Liberation Front forces moved into the capital Asmara, reinstating independence, following a 30-year-long battle against the...

Dia de Portugal - Portugal Day

Every 10th day of June, the Portuguese celebrate their national holiday known as Dia de Portugal in the native tongue. The rest of the world recognizes this momentous occasion as Portugal Day. This date commemorates the death of Luís de Camoes (10 June 1580), a significant figure in the...

Flag Day (Argentina)

The Day of the National Flag (in Spanish, Día de la Bandera Nacional) is the holiday dedicated to the Argentine flag and to the commemoration of its creator, Manuel Belgrano. It is celebrated on June 20, the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820. This date was designated in...

Marseillaise Day

This day honors the national anthem of France, the Marseillaise, on the anniversary of the day it was first sung in Paris in 1792 by five hundred men from Marseilles, hence the title. The Official National Anthem 'La Marseillaise' was initially established as a national song of the...

Dream Day Quest and Jubilee

'I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their...

Download KeepIn Calendar

Enjoy the interesting stories even on your phone or tablet