Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico.
The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s surprising defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Sequín.
The battle was significant for at least two reasons. First, while outnumbered almost two to one, the Mexicans defeated a better equipped French army that had not lost a battle for almost 50 years. Second, this battle was important because it would be the last time an army from another continent invated the Americans.
While significant, Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. However, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day. That holiday is actually Sept. 15, which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
Here in the town where I live, we have a 70 to 80 percent Hispanic population. Many of the families came to the area years ago as migrant workers and eventually, they chose to stay.
We have a wonderful collection of Mexican businesses and some of the best south-of-the-border restaurants you'd ever have the opportunity to try!
In honor of my many Hispanic friends, happy Cinco de Mayo.