Cinco de Mayo isn't Mexican Independence day. It is however, a day that Mexico commemorates winning the battle against the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 which happened 50 years after Mexico already won its independence (Sept 16, 1810).
So why did they have to fight this battle?
Mexico had debt that it couldn't pay due to previous wars, and the President, Benito Juarez, asked for a two year suspension to help recuperate. The French saw this as an opportunity and decided to invade Mexico to make it a French territory. There was a small army waiting for them when they arrived at the town of Puebla. Even though the French army outnumbered the Mexican army, the French army was defeated before they were able to get to Mexico City. Yay!
So why is it celebrated so much in the US?
This win was a symbol against French imperialism. The US helped Mexico push out the French for good. Around the same time of the Battle of Puebla, the Mexican Americans in the US used the victory as inspiration in their struggle with the Union during the Civil war. It's thought that if the French would have won in Puebla & the Mexico City, they would have aided the side of the Confederacy in the US.
The celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated in the town of Puebla with a festival, parade, and music celebrations. In the US you'll also see celebrations. I think this is a great time to educate and teach others about Mexican and American history. It's important to know the significance of any holiday that you choose to celebrate. Rather than just jump at the chance to enjoy Mexican food, and have bottomless margaritas, take some time to learn not only about another culture, but also US history. Doing this will help with empathy, understanding, and humanity as a whole. Our kids will have a better future that way.
TWO EVENTS COMING UP THIS WEEK.
I've partnered with XO Marshmallow this week. I have a new collection hanging in their new cafe, and I'm going to be there hanging out TWICE this week and talking about the history of Cinco de Mayo. So come with any questions or with just your sweet tooth.
Get your free tickets!