Cinco de Mayo 2015 History & Meaning

Cinco de Mayo, Cinco de Mayo 2015, Cinco de Mayo History, Cinco de Mayo Meaning, Cinco de Mayo Flag, Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and what exactly is the meaning behind the holiday? Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for “fifth of May” and so the celebration is always on May 5th each year. The holiday is celebrated in both Mexico and the United States, most celebrated in the town of Puebla, where the day is known as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla. This means The Day of the Battle of Puebla. Many Mexican-Americans see the day as a chance to celebrate their pride for their culture and others just use it as an excuse to drink margaritas and each guacamole. The actual reason the day is celebrated is to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The battle was won under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The victory boosted morale with the Mexican army as well as the people in general. TIME Magazine once wrote that:

The Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath.

Since the Battle of Puebla, no European military force has tried to invade any country in the Americas. On May 9, 1862, President Juárez declared the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla to be a national holiday called “Battle of Puebla Day” or “Battle of Cinco de Mayo”. The Cinco de Mayo holiday didn’t really become fashionable until the 1940s in America during the rise of the Chicano movement. Then, in the 1980’s the beer companies, restaurants, and marketing companies really jumped on the holiday in order to capitalize on the day.

Sometimes, Cinco de Mayo is confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls on September 16th each year.

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