5th of May

By | May 5, 2009

The fifth of May sounds different when it’s said in Spanish. Cinco de Mayo. It’s not a holiday in the United States, although a lot of people do celebrate thinking it’s the Mexican Independence Day. It’s not and is not even generally celebrated in Mexico other then in one region, Puebla.

It was on May 5, 1862 that a French army invading Mexico was defeated in The Battle of Puebla by a much smaller Mexican force. This was a case when Mexico won the Battle, but lost the War, since two years later Mexico was in defeat and France made Maximillian Emperor of Mexico.

After the United States Civil War ended, they turned their attentions to Mexico. They used Monroe Doctrine, which in part said that no European County shall rule in the Americas, to force France to leave. Maximillian decided not to leave and he was disposed by forces under the command of Benito Juárez, who had never recognize his rule and was supported by the Americans.

September 16 is the date of Mexico’s Independence. In 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest in the village of Dolores, called his people to revolution against the Spaniards who had exploited and oppressed native Mexicans for generations.

California began the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the United States beginning perhaps as early as 1863, the first anniversary of the battle. Even though California was part of the United States they were showing resistance to French rule in Mexico.

Today it is a day to celebrate the culture of those with Mexican ancestry. Really no different than the Irish with St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest for Germans, and the Chinese New Year.


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