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Impress Your Friends: What's The Story Behind Cinco de Mayo, Anyway?

The real reason behind the celebration.

Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Patch file photo.)
Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Patch file photo.)
By Todd Richissin

Cinco de Mayo as celebrated in the United States is one of the more misunderstood holidays out there.

While partying tends to mark the 5th of May, the holiday does not celebrate Mexican independence, as many believe — that's September 16 — but instead has its roots in the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. 

  • How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Tell us in comments below. 

Defeating the French in anything might not seem like much of a victory today, but when Napoleon III led the attack in Mexico in 1861, he did so with a force considered the premier army in the world.

On May, 5, 1862, though, the Mexicans crushed the French, which led to the holiday that in the United States has evolved into a general celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

Baileyspet May 06, 2014 at 07:38 AM
Just another day for people to get drunk, not to mention how the Liquor Industry pushes it
saandra6403 May 06, 2014 at 07:49 AM
Why would I want to impress anyone with Mexican History. American History is what should be most important to anyone that lives in America. May 5th was probably started by Mexican Restaurants to get you to come in and spend money, that is sent to Mexico.
Lone Stranger May 06, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Cinco De Mayo is a joke. Why would anyone American celebrate this joke holiday? Hell we can just let the Mexican illegals move into our homes now. Obama wants these people to just basically take over the country. Along with him and his gang of minority race hustling criminals.
John Welford May 06, 2014 at 10:05 AM
I agree. We get enough of the "Hispanic culture" shoved in our faces as it is. Why can't American kids, in American schools, wear the American flag on Sinko de Mayo ? That's what I'm talking about.
Fatkat May 07, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Ya! Who the heck cares about cinco de Mayo? Not me! That's for sure😉

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