With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Monday this year, you may be planning to celebrate this weekend. But do you know what you are really celebrating?
HerMamas Presents: A Quick History Lesson on Cinco De Mayo
First and foremost Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. That is celebrated in September. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the 1862 Battle of Puebla. The French Army led by Charles de Lorencez had been battling the Mexican Army, led by Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin. The French army was bigger and better equipped and by all standards should have prevailed. Instead the Mexican Army was able to overwhelm the French and won the battle near the town of Puebla.
As you can imagine this was a big ego boost for the Mexican Army. Even though Mexico won the battle of Puebla, they eventually lost the war. Even though President Benito Juarez declared May 5th as "Battle of Puebla Day", today it is not a federal holiday in Mexico. Today there is still a re-enactment of the battle at the Penon de los Banos, a open field near the Mexico City Airport.
And there you have it! A short history lesson on the real reason Cinco de Mayo is celebrated. Now go out and enjoy your carne asada and Corona and toast to Mexico's victory over the French!