The History of Cinco de mayo

Cinco de mayo, or the fifth of May, is coming up and many people don’t know the history of this day; many actually confuse this date for Mexico’s independence day which is actually on September 16, many months away from when Cinco is celebrated.

Everything started during the French-Mexican War (1861-1867) when Benito Juárez was elected as Mexico’s new president. Throughout this war, Mexico was in deep debt and the new president had to stop all payments to the European governments, which created problems with France, Britain, and Spain. After Benito Juárez stopped sending them money, the European governments sent naval forces to Mexico. They demanded a repayment from the president. Britain and Spain made an agreement with Juárez, soon after their naval deployment, and they both withdrew their forces. France however, took the chance to try and overrun the Mexican territory. Not long after, 6,000 French troops were sent to Puebla de Los Angeles.

After hearing about the plan that the French government had, Juárez gathered 2,000 men to go fight in Puebla. They went and prepared for the French to come and start an assault.

On May 5th, 1862, The French attacked. The battled didn’t last long; over 500 French soldiers were killed and only fewer than 100 Mexican soldiers. The French retreated, and after that day, May 5th represented a huge victory for the Mexican government.

Cinco de Mayo is mostly only celebrated in Puebla, where the battle took place, but some other countries also take part in the celebration. For many Mexicans though, the fifth of May is like any other day. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is seen as a celebration of Mexican culture and its heritage. It’s celebrated with parades, parties, traditional Mexican foods, and huge festivals.

So, go out and see all of the cool and colorful festivals and parades with some loved ones and never forget the history of Cinco de Mayo.

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