features - cinco 3
The History of Cinco De Mayo

features - cinco 1 features - cinco 2 features - cinco 3

by Ciarra Lawson


On this day, May 5th we celebrate what is known to be “Cinco De Mayo”  which means May 5th in spanish. Across the nation, we celebrate Mexican culture and their heritage with parades, parties, mariachi music, folk dancing, and Mexican food

But what happened on the 5th of May? And what do we really celebrate? For starters it’s not Mexico’s independence date: that’s September 16th

May 5th commemorates the victory over France. In 1861, Mexican president Benito Juárez declared his country was too poor to pay its debts to foreign nations – promoting France to invade Mexico and make it a French territory

But once French troops approached the town of Puebla on May 5th 1862, Mexican troops managed to defeat them despite being outnumbered 2 to 1

The victory became a symbol of Mexican resistance against French imperialism

Cinco De Mayo spirit spread and reached to the United States and soon after the victory of Puebla, Americans with Mexican heritage used that day as inspiration for the union struggle in the Civil War

Americans in the midst of civil war were inspired by Mexico’s victory and began celebrating the 5th of May with parades, dances, speeches, banquets and bullfights

But today, Cinco De Mayo is actually a bigger holiday in the US than it is in Mexico where it’s mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla

So when you’re eating tacos and wearing a sombrero take an extra moment to honor the history of this holiday