Cinco de Mayo is a public holiday mainly celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States to commemorate a military victory over Napoleon III’s army in 1862. The day is celebrated on May 5th every year. The day is also historically known as Battle of Puebla Day.
While the holiday is primarily celebrated in some regional places, the day has evolved into cultural heritage. Therefore, the importance of this day bears a lot of meaning to the Mexican-American people in the United States.
Meaning of the Day
Many people believe Cinco de Mayo to be the Mexican Independence Day. It is a popular misnomer that is lost on many people. It is important to note that Cinco De Mayo celebrates a battle from the history page in 1861. That year, Mexico had just elected a new president, Benito Juárez, an indigenous community member.
The new president had to oversee his country through an extremely tough period. Mexico was going through economic devastation after years of civil war. The financial crisis turned so bad that the new president had to default on debt payments to all the European governments.
Consequently, Britain, France, and Spain sent forces to Mexico in a bid to reclaim what Mexico owed them. Afterward, Britain and Spain struck a deal with Mexico and withdrew their armed forces from the country. However, Napoleon III of France decided to exploit this as an opportunity to expand his territory.