Cinco de Mayo ('Fifth of May' in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico on May 5 every year. In Mexico, the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the battle of Puebla) and is observed celebrate the victory of Mexico over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
States in America with significant Mexican population also celebrate this day with great vigor. But most of the celebrations happen in the state of Puebla, Mexico.
This day is often confused with Mexico's independence day which is on 16th September.
History behind the day -
After the Mexican Civil War in 1868, Mexico was left bankrupt. Mexico failed to repay her debts to France, Britain and Spain and negotiated for a two-year suspension of payment. Though Britain and Spain agreed, France did not and intended to use this opportunity to invade Mexico.
Late in 1861, the French army attacked the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz and marched towards Mexico City. In the absence of any support from the US military, the Mexican army on its own opposed the French forces with great valor near Puebla. Almost half in number as the French army, the Mexican troop was still able defeat the French on 5th May, 1862. However, this victory was only short-lived and the French-Mexican war continued. In 1965, the U.S was able to provide support and the French forces were made to leave.
The victory in Puebla proved to be a very significant one for Mexico and greatly boosted the morale of the Mexican army and the general public.
Celebration in Mexico and U.S.A -
Celebrated most flamboyantly in the state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated in most of the Mexican states. Today, parades, traditional dance and music performance and plays recreating the Battle of Puebla are a common part of the celebrations. In states of America, Mexicans and Latinos celebrate it by putting light on the Mexican culture and heritage.
Traditional Mexican cuisines are made in all houses with Mexican origins.
Celebrations around the world -
An annual skydiving event is held on Cinco de Mayo in Vancouver, Canada. Canadian clubs also play Mexican music and serve Mexican food on this day. In Cayman Islands, a guitar competition takes place. Montego Bay, Jamaica also holds a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Some celebrations are also held in London, New Zealand, England, Bangkok, Thailand, Taiwan, Paris and France. An annual Mexican Festival is also held in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.