Why is Cinco de Mayo Celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday widely celebrated with Mexican-themed meals in the United States, but many don’t know why we commemorate May 5th every year.

Believe it or not, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. We actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo because it is the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War on May 5, 1862. It’s also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

According to the History Channel in 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.

Cinco de Mayo is actually a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, with it primarily being observed in the state of Puebla. However, the holiday has evolved in the U.S. into a day to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, especially in parts of the country that have large Latino populations. Along with food and drinks, festivals and parades are held in some regions.

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– Townsend Realty Group | Keller Williams Realty Partners