Did you know? Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark Mexico’s independence day – in fact, Mexico declared its independence from Spain at midnight on September 15th 1810! So why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5th? There are many misconceptions about why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo and most think we are celebrating Mexico’s independence day but that’s not actually the case. Want to know more about why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Read below! xo
Why Do We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
- Cinco de Mayo marks the 1862 Battle of Puebla. A small Mexican army defeated a large cadre of French soldiers, although the French did not completely withdraw until 1866.
- Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16, which commemorates the country’s first efforts to separate from Spain in 1810.
- Cinco De Mayo celebrates the victory of 4,000 Mexican soldiers against 8,000 French forces on the morning of May 5, 1862 in Puebla, Mexico. Cinco De Mayo celebrations historically combine food, music, and dancing.
- France decided to attack Mexico after it stopped making interest payments for a major debt it owed. It intended to try to take over Mexico and force payment of the debt. But the defeat at Puebla, 100 miles east of capital Mexico City, was devastating for the French.
- Cinco De Mayo is actually a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla.
- For Mexican Americans, Cinco De Mayo is much like St. Patrick’s Day for Irish Americans — a day to celebrate its heritage.