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. (from Cinco de Mayo – the Basics — By Christopher Minster, About.com Guide)
Growing up in Michigan, we really didn’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo like they do here in San Antonio, Texas. I really don’t do much for Cinco de Mayo. I have Mexican food for dinner, a margarita or two (or three) and listen to some Mexican music.
Here is one of my favorite Mexican songs — “Ya No Me Pones Atencion” by Emilio Navaira.
Here is some more about Cinco de Mayo
Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Here are five facts to help you understand the importance of this often misunderstood holiday. By Jenn Savedge1. Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. Most Americans confuse this holiday with Mexico’s Independence Day, but that date is Sept. 16.2. Cinco de Mayo IS a celebration of the Battle of Puebla. The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).3. Cinco de Mayo IS a celebrations of underdogs. Why make such a big deal over one victory? The win at Puebla was a huge deal for Mexico because the Mexican Army went into the battle as underdogs. They had no training and no equipment and were vastly outnumbered against the well-armed, well-disciplined and well-funded French, who up until that point had defeated them at every turn. Yet, they prevailed.4. Cinco de Mayo IS NOT really a big deal in Mexico. With all of the fuss around May 5th here in the U.S., you would think it was the biggest holiday in Mexico — but that’s not the case. That honor goes to Mexican Independence Day. Still, Mexicans do celebrate the day with family get-togethers, fireworks, dancing and lots of yummy food.5. Cinco de Mayo IS a holiday for everyone to celebrate. Many towns around the U.S. have festivals, fiestas, dances, fireworks, food and music in honor of the holiday. It’s a great time to teach your kids about the culture, people and history of Mexico — or even learn a little yourself.