A Look at the Cinco de Mayo History
The History of Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo marks the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican army was defeated eventually but this battle represents Mexican patriotism and unity. This origination of Cinco de Mayo starts with this battle, which happened on May 5, 1862.
The history of Cinco de Mayo began with the French occupation of Mexico. This happened after the Mexican-American war of 1846 to 1848. Years of fighting and a civil war too left Mexico bankrupt and devastated. Mexico owed $80 million in foreign debts. The president issued a moratorium to delay foreign debt repayments for two years, promising that they would resume after that period.
Origination of Cinco de Mayo
The French, Spanish, and English refused this idea and decided to invade Mexico instead, to try and recoup their monetary losses. The English and Spanish withdrew in the end but the French stayed. They began to advance in 1862 but several thousand ill equipped Zapotec and Mestizo Indians managed to defeat the French army on May 5, in the Batalla de Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is often known in Mexico as “Batalla de Puebla”.
Cinco de Mayo is sometimes confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16 but these are two separate festivals and the historical events associated with each one happened fifty years apart.
Modern Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
Cinco de Mayo has become very commercialized, especially in the United States where it is celebrated on a bigger scale than in Mexico. Mexican Americans celebrated Cinco de Mayo with parades, folk dancing, mariachi music and other festive activities. Hitting piñatas is popular, as is celebrating with traditional Mexican food and drinks.
A modern Cinco de Mayo party centers on the family. Of course, food and drink is very important in Mexico, especially when celebrating something, and making everyone’s favorite Mexican dishes is a great idea for this holiday, since there are no set foods, so you can just make whatever you want. Ensure you have some Mexican music and also your preferred drinks, such as beer, soft drinks, or even some homemade margaritas, and plan the dishes you are going to make in advance. Modern Cinco de Mayo parties pay homage to the history of Cinco de Mayo, and this is a fun holiday on both sides of the border.
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