If you’re anything like us, when you think of May 5 your mouth begins to water in anticipation of the food, libations and festivities that generally accompany the holiday. However, Cinco de Mayo is so much more than a flavorful fiesta – its historical significance is important and relevant to modern-day events affecting the country. While Cinco de Mayo celebrations are prominent in the United States, some might find it interesting to learn not only the history of the holiday, but also that the event is not as widely celebrated in its land of origination.
So, why is May 5 important? We’re glad you asked! It was on that day in 1862 that the Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican war. Although Mexicans won that battle, the French returned to capture Puebla the following year. The battle at Puebla is significant because it established Mexico as a force to be reckoned with. In fact, five years later, Mexicans troops proved their resiliency against foreign domination again by overthrowing the government and reestablishing themselves as an independent republic.
And, while it is customary in the U.S. to throw large, Mexican-themed parties, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico mainly in the state of Puebla with military parades and battle reenactments.
Ultimately, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the bravery, culture, traditions, folklore and contributions of the Mexican people and their descendants to societies across the world. To learn more about Mexican culture, including food, folklore and more, check out CMLibrary Suggests: Celebrate Mexico on Cinco de Mayo.