Today Mexicans (and Americans) celebrate Cinco de Mayo (often confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th). Cinco de Mayo celebrates the remebrance of the Battle of Puebla on May 5th. France controlled Mexico in the early 1860’s and Mexico wanted their freedom (they fairly won it at Puebla). It was France’s second intervention in Mexico, but it was also their last. Perhaps a little strange is that Mexico’s battle for freedom occurred on what is today American soil. Puebla is in California near Los Angles. Spain and Britain also went to war with Mexico but came to terms before the battle.
How to celebrate – Study the history of Mexico. Celebrate Mexico’s freedom from foreign interference. Visit the site of the battle.
Today is a day of celebration in Mexican pride and culture. In fact, it is a celebration for most Hispanic people, celebrating along with Mexico, the rich and colorful songs, dancing, and parties associated with a mixed and exciting heritage.
For most of Mexico history they have been under the thumb of European countries. Spain obviously ruled Mexico having defeated the Aztec Empire, but it was France that drove the Mexican population to revolt against them, culminating with the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Independence did not come until September 16th from France but the battle was the beginning of the end.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of that great victory and Mexico’s recognition of being a sovereign state after so many years of repression. Perhaps the strangest part of Cinco de Mayo is that it did not actually start in Mexico! It began in California, then an American territory, when the Mexicans living there heard of the victory over the French. They fired off rifles and fireworks to celebrate, and it quickly spread south to their native land.
Mexico has a rich and diverse background having been influenced by so many other nationalities. They have always been a colorful people who love dance, song and parties to express how they feel. And they always invite everyone else to share in their good fortune.
How to celebrate – Throw a party for your Hispanic friends celebrating their place in the world. Visit Mexico and take part in the culture. Dress the part today showing you support Cinco de Mayo.