Today is May 5, also known as Cinco de Mayo.Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican victory of the Battle of the Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862 near the city of Puebla. On this day 2,000 Mexican men led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza defended their city against a French army of 6,000. Zaragoza’s men were outnumbered and poorly supplied. The French army retreated, after less than a day of battle. The French suffered 500 casualties that day, while the Mexican force lost fewer than 100 men. More detailed account of the: Battle of the Puebla
This was only a small victory for Mexico and the war with France continued another 6 years, until France withdrew. However, the Battle of the Puebla was a great victory for the Mexican people. Today, it is a voluntary holiday celebrated in the state of Puebla in Mexico and in the United States (Mexico does not recognize Cinco de Mayo).
Many people mistaken Cinco de Mayo as Mexican Independence Day, but this actually occurred on September 16th (recognized Sept. 27). On September 16, 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spain. You can anticipate another history lesson from me on this day, when Mexico celebrates 200 years of independence!
Although Cinco de Mayo is not a holiday in Mexico, it has become a huge commercial holiday here in the States. It is a celebration of Mexican culture, displayed through food, music, festivals, parades, and yes… plenty of drinking. If you chose to celebrate today, I hope that you truly take this day to appreciate the history and the culture of Mexico. Today is about much more than tacos and cervezas, it is about a monumental victory for the Mexican people. I will raise my glass tonight for the many victories we still have before us, the battle is never truly over for the Mexican people. Mexico is still very much a work in progress.