Cinco de Mayo, which is translated as “the fifth of May,” might simply conjure up the sweet taste of margaritas and the irresistible beat of salsa music, but it is much more than that! Are you aware of the history of this fun holiday? Hint: it is a bit more complicated than you’d imagine. Read on to learn all of the things you never knew about Cinco de Mayo, including its festivities and origin story, so you can celebrate it properly this year!
Cinco de Mayo is a True Celebration of Victory
The holiday celebrates Mexico’s great victory over the French’s army in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. A lot of people get the day’s history mixed up with Mexican Independence Day, however, this took place way before, in 1810. Even though the Mexicans were outnumbered greatly and poorly supplied, they still came out on top, defeating the French and only losing around 100 soldiers.
Napoleon III Wished to Take Over Puebla
During the Civil War, Napoleon III wanted to turn Puebla into a base for the Confederate Army. In fact, this is where the Battle of Puebla started. If this had actually occurred, the outcome of the Civil War might have been entirely different, with the possibility of the French and the Confederates taking over the continent.
The Celebration Spread Around the Country
The holidays’ popularity started when news of the win in the Battle of Puebla reached Latinos living in California. Once they found out, they formed groups to raise money for Mexican troops. President Roosevelt also helped popularize the holiday in America by creating the Good Neighbor Policy in 1933. It was made in hopes of improving the United States’ relationship with Latin America. However, the fiesta that Cinco de Mayo is today wasn’t made until American beer companies started directing their attention toward the Spanish-speaking population in the 1970s and 1980s.
It is a Worldwide Party Today!
In Los Angeles alone, more than 500,000 people celebrate the holiday! That makes sense considering around 85 million pounds of avocado are sued for guacamole on this day in America, and around 12.3 million cases of tequila are drank. As well as America and Mexico, in countries like England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also celebrate this day. If you get the chance, check out how these countries celebrate this fun day!
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