One of the most misconceived holidays celebrated in the United States is Cinco de Mayo. It is a day typically celebrated with little question as to its origin, meaning and tradition. For all those who are curious, here’s a breakdown of a few important facts surrounding this adored day.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is on September 16, but is a celebration in remembrance of the Battle of Puebla between Mexico and France on May 5, 1862. In an attempt to collect war debts, France gathered an intimidating army to invade Mexico. Yet as ill-prepared as they were, the Mexicans won the fight. One could draw that it is this overwhelming sense of nationalism and accomplishment that inspires commemoration for generations.
In addition to contradictions of popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is actually not that big of a deal through most of Mexico. It is celebrated with much more enthusiasm here in the USA and, of course, in Puebla, the location of the battle. The significance of the event has gradually been forgotten elsewhere. Perhaps the reason the celebration is still so popular in the United States is because Texas and California were a part of Mexico at one point and time.