What is Cinco de Mayo?

What is Cinco de Mayo?

For many, the 5th of May isn't an ordinary day but Cinco de Mayo, a holiday celebrated throughout the United States, however, do you know what the day actually commemorates?

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independence day but the day Mexican troops had an unlikely but decisive victory against French troops who had invaded the Mexico city of Puebla in 1862.

"Over the years it's very much become something that's celebrated here, to some extent the Hispanic community, to a much larger extent the beer drinking community and certainly it's become a huge marketing tool," said Erika Sutherland, associate professor of Spanish at Muhlenberg College.

Even though the victory was short lived, Sutherland said it came at a significant time in history for both Mexico and the United States where the American Civil War was taking place, commemorating the cause for freedom and democracy.

French troops ultimately withdrew from Mexico six years after the Battle of Puebla.


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