Posts Tagged ‘ Battle of Puebla ’

What is Cinco de Mayo about?

Cinco de Mayo marks an outnumbered Mexican army’s victory over an invading French army on May 5, 1862, in Puebla, east of Mexico City.

Although Mexico’s triumph lifted morale during a time of political and economic upheaval, it was short-lived. Mexico later succumbed to French rule in a period known as the French Intervention that lasted until 1867.

Keeping the French from creating an empire in North America was a mutual interest that sparked cooperation between US President Abraham Lincoln and Benito Juárez, his counterpart in Mexico. Today, statues of the American president stand tall in Mexico, and statues of the Mexican president, one of the country’s most beloved leaders, grace US soil.

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The bigger Mexican holiday

Cinco de Mayo is often confused with another Mexican holiday with more cachet south of the border: Dieciséis de Septiembre, which celebrates Independence Day. Mexico’s 10-year struggle to break free from Spain began Sept. 16, 1810 – half a century before the Battle of Puebla.

Conventional wisdom has it that US marketers had a clever hand in catapulting to popularity Cinco de Mayo, partly because it just rolls off the tongue even if you speak no Spanish