Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo – literally translate as 5th of May. This is a holiday mostly celebrated in Mexico to commemorate the Mexican Army’s difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

Cinco de Mayo

This battle was done under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. On this day you can find all kinds of festivities that include parades, food, music and folklore dancing. However, in the United States, this holiday is to celebrate Mexican-American culture. Some people think it is Mexico’s Independence Day, which it is not. That is celebrated September 16.

Cinco de Mayo

Many Mexican Restaurants offer special deals on this day too! If you have some Spanish gospel tracts, this would be a great day to hand them out! If not, just hand out what you have!

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 defeat of the French by the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla. That battle occurred during the Franco-Mexican War, which was an invasion of Mexico launched by the French in 1861. The French invaded Mexico as a result of newly elected Mexican President Benito Juarez’s decision to suspend interest payments on loans the country took out from foreign countries. France was one such creditor, but the French were not the only country to send troops to Mexico in response to Juarez’s decision. Spain and Great Britain also sent troops to Veracruz, but both countries entered negotiations with Mexico and ultimately withdrew their forces.

However, France, under the leadership of Napoleon III, wanted to ensure access to Latin American markets. The French naval fleet’s arrival in Veracruz forced President Juarez and his government to retreat. Months later, Juarez’s force of 2,000 squared off against 6,000 French troops at the Battle of Puebla. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Mexican forces claimed victory, losing fewer than 100 men while French casualties numbered nearly 500. While the victory itself did not prove a major win in the war against the French, it symbolized the strength of the Mexican people and served to strengthen the resistance movement. Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico, but has grown into a popular celebration of Mexican culture in the United States.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 defeat of the French by the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla. That battle occurred during the Franco-Mexican War, which was an invasion of Mexico launched by the French in 1861.

In 2020, Cinco de Mayo also fell on Taco Tuesday!

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrated by millions of people each year. Oddly enough, the majority of those people live in the United States instead of Mexico. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Battle of Puebla, during which he Mexican Army overcame significant obstacles to defeat the French Army under the direction of General Ignacio Zaragoza. On May 5, 1862, an attacking French Army battled against Mexican forces that were roughly half the size of their opponents.

Despite that decided disadvantage, the Mexican Army won the battle. Mexican forces would ultimately be defeated by the French a year later, but that same year witnessed the first celebrations of Cinco de Mayo in California, where Mexican miners celebrated the heroic efforts of their countrymen a year prior. Curiously, those 1863 celebrations would prove to be a harbinger of things to come, as Cinco de Mayo eventually became a more prominent holiday in the United States than it did in Mexico. The only major celebrations of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico, where the day is a holiday but not considered a significant one (banks and government offices remain open), take place in Puebla, though the neighboring state of Veracruz also treats the day with a greater degree of significance than elsewhere in Mexico.

Historical reenactments of the battle and parades are part of celebrations in Puebla. Celebrations in the United States are considerable, as many people, including those with no ancestral ties to Mexico, look forward to May 5 as an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and food as well as the many traditions that make Mexico such a unique and special place. Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States bear some resemblance to the country’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, though many American St. Patrick’s Day celebrants have no connection to Ireland or the Catholic Church. Rather, the day has become an opportunity for people from various backgrounds to celebrate Irish culture, much like Cinco de Mayo marks a chance to celebrate Mexican culture.

Part of this article is from MetroCreative. TF185988 & TF215950 – First published May 4, 2018. Last updated or republished May 5, 2021.

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