Cinco de Mayo is misunderstood

It is not Mexico's Independance Day


DETROIT – Every year, May 5 marks a holiday we call "Cinco de Mayo."

Most Americans celebrate by eating tacos, and drinking tequila. But despite its reputation for being "Mexican St. Patrick's Day," the holiday has a lot of historical value.

First of all, Cinco de Mayo does not mark Mexico's Independence Day; that is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo is a regional holiday in Mexico, called El Dia de la Batella de Puebla. It celebrates Mexico's victory over the French in 1862, during the Battle of Puebla in the American Civil War.

The French army was much larger than the Mexican army, and struggled to defend itself, until it reached Puebla, where Mexicans defied the odds and scored a huge victory.

It was somewhat short-lived, as the French eventually re-grouped, capturing Mexico City.

It's a big holiday in Puebla, Mexico, but it is actually celebrated more in the U.S., than in most of Mexico.

The holiday has become a celebration of Mexican culture, rather than remembering a battle 150 years ago.

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