Cinco de Mayo and Why We Really Celebrate
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated every year in Mexican communities all over the world. For this reason, many people mistakenly think of it as Mexican’s Independence Day. In actual fact, Mexico had already enjoyed fifty years of independence from Spain on May 5, 1862.
The truth is, Mexico celebrates the 5th of May because of their victory at the Battle of Puebla. France invaded Mexico over some missed interest payments to Mexico’s creditors in France. Their first attempts at invasion proved successful, and they marched their way toward Mexico City, the country’s capital. They were able to overcome any resistance until they got to the city of Puebla.
French forces may have outnumbered Mexican troops in Puebla 2 to 1. However, under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín’s command, Mexico’s army defeated the French. This victory is celebrated every year on May 5.
This victory was (and still is) a source of pride for the Mexican people. The French army was considered one of the best at the time and hadn’t been defeated in over fifty years. Despite the fact that the French army went on to take over the country a short time later, it remains a moral victory for Mexico, one that united the country as a symbol of patriotic pride.
Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday but mainly celebrated in the city of Puebla. However, it has been adopted in the United States as a day to celebrate the culture and heritage of Mexico.
In cities with significant Mexican populations, you will find festivals and parades celebrating the Cinco de Mayo with enthusiasm. Mexican music, food, and dance are all featured throughout the day. You will find symbols of the holiday and of Mexico in banners and decorations all over the city. Don’t miss the chance to join in the festivities celebrate Mexican pride wearing one of Erica's embroidered Maxi Dresses!
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