VIDEO: What is Cinco de Mayo? A Brief History & Facts About Cinco De Mayo

A Brief History & Facts About Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo on Fifth of May is a commemoration of the victory of an outnumbered army of Mexicans over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla that took place May 5, 1862.

The triumph of the Mexicans proved to the world that their will to defend their nation’s sovereignty would prevail against a powerful foreign invader.

It is often mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day, which, on the other hand, is celebrated every 16th of September.

Though Cinco de Mayo has become a relatively minor event in Mexico today, the United States of America significantly celebrates it by highlighting the Mexican-American culture.

It’s significance to world history is more than about having a day dedicated to feasting on Mexican Food, getting Margarita happy, and wearing loud sombreros; so to give you a better understanding of what Cinco de Mayo is all about,

Let’s take you back to where and how it all began – The American Civil War, experienced by the Latinos.

The Early 1860’s became witness to the time Mexico had become greatly indebted to France, Britain and Spain as a result of the Mexican-American War and Reform War.

Mexican President Benito Juárez suspended the payment of Mexico’s foreign debts for 2 years and only France turned down the notion for a negotiation.

Napoleon III, then ruler of France, saw this as an opportunity to build The Second Mexican Empire in Mexico with France reaping the benefits.

During the latter part of 1861, France’s fleet attacked Veracruz and halted Juarez and his government.

In May 1862, The French force led by General Charles de Lorencez attacked Mexico City but were resisted by General Ignacio Zaragoza’s strong-willed Mexican troops near Puebla de los Angeles.

2,000 poorly-equipped Mexican fighters stood against the 6,000 well-armed French men, known as “the world’s premier army”.

Nearly 500 French soldiers and fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the battle that went on from dawn til dusk. Sensing the obvious defeat, the French force retreated.

Mexico’s determination, unity and patriotism won over France’s brutal force. A much-needed morale boost not only to the Mexican army but to Mexico as a nation.

There’s so much to tell about what took place in Puebla but what needs to be remembered has probably been forgotten by most of those who should be passing the story on.

Mexico may have lost battles after that great victory, but Cinco de Mayo will always be a reminder to everyone that a grain of hope, no matter how small and insignificant to others, can make the impossible, possible.

Now that you know what you need to know,

Enjoy that Mexican feast!
Down that shot of tequila!
And Wear that Mexican sombrero loud and proud!

Because it is a HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!