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The History Of Cinco De Mayo
WHAT IS CINCO DE MAYO?
❂ Contrary to popular belief, is not Mexican Independence Day. That was declared more than 50 years before Cinco de Mayo on September 16.
❂ May 5, 1862 is the date of Mexican military victory over France (not Spain) when several hundred Mexican soldiers defeated a much larger contingent of the French army in the Battle of Puebla.
❂ Benito Juárez (1806-1872) president of Mexico, which was in financial ruin because of many wars and battles.
❂ Mexico was in debt to Spain, England, and France. France used Mexico's debt as an attempt to add Mexico to it's empire.
❂ Under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez (1814-1892), 6,000 French troops set out to attack Puebla.
❂ General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862), who was born in Texas, led 2,000 Mexicans into the battle.
❂ The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening.
❂ The French lost nearly 500 soldiers while the Mexicans lost fewer than 100 soldiers.
HOW IT IS CELEBRATED IN MEXICO
❂ Military parades
❂ Recreations of the Battle of Puebla
❂ Other festive events
❂ Though the date is a holiday in Mexico, it's mostly celebrated in Puebla.
❂ Since it is not a federal holiday, offices, banks, and stores remain open.
HOW AMERICANS CELEBRATE IT
❂ Mariachi music
❂ Mexican folk dancing
❂ Traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano
❂ You can never go wrong, though, by showing a bit of cultural sensitivity. How would we feel if we saw another country celebrating the Battle of Gettysburg with binge drinking and Uncle Sam hats?