Many people mistakenly believe that Cinco deMayo or the fifth of May is a celebration of Mexican independence, but it is a misconception. September 16, 1810 is the day that started the revolution by revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla who is famous for his, “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”) speech against colonial government Spain.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).
Mexican President Benito Juárez who took over during a time of financial crisis and he could not repay his debts to his debtors of the European governments. France, Europe and Spain then sent naval troops to Veracruz to demand repayment. French president Napoleon III used this as an opportunity to overthrow the Mexican government, when Britain and Spain learned of Napoleon’s true nature they negotiated with Mexico and withdrew. Napoleon proceeded with his attack.
It was the fifth of May 1862 that General Ignacio Zaragoza fought in the Battle of Puebla against the French, killing 1000 French troops causing the French troops to retreat that day. This would be the day that many Mexicans would remember, a day of victory over the French!
Many Americans celebrates this day with festivals that include traditional dishes like tacos al pastor and tinga poblana de pollo, dances along with music like the mariachi that includes violins, guitars, basses, vihuelas, which is a 5 string guitar and trumpets. The celebration is not only traditional but cultural and spiritual, with the women wearing the beautiful colorful dresses and the men with their wide brimmed hats it is truly a sight to see that you will enjoy.