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why do we celebrate cinco de mayo in the us

While most of us know how to celebrate, the why is a little murkier. Why do we celebrate every year on the 5th of May? With Cinco de Mayo almost upon us, we wanted to shed a little light on how this beloved holiday came to be and what the big celebration is all about. Its not. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is NOT a celebration of Mexican independence. Rather, it is a celebration of Mexicos victory over France in the battle at
during the Franco-Mexican war (1861-1867). Mexicos defeat over France in the battle at Pueblo came as a surprise, due to the small militia Mexico employed in contrast to the heavily outfitted French militia, which had 2,000 more troops than the Mexican Army. Although the Mexican militia won the battle they would go on to lose the war. Napoleon III, then leader of France, instituted his relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria as the ruler of Mexico. Maximillian was executed by firing squad 6 years later, when the US forced France to remove their troops and President Benito Jurez took leadership of the country. The battle at Puebla however, remained a source of great pride for the country, and is still celebrated as a state holiday in Puebla and Veracruz. The holiday of course is known as Cinco de Mayo. Why did France invade in the first place? In 1821 after a battle for their independence from Spain, Mexico broke free and descended into years of internal political takeovers and wars including the Mexican Civil War and the Mexican-American War. After years of war and struggle, as Mexico attempted to find its footing since being annexed from Spain, debts began to accumulate, sharply.

By this point Mexico was heavily indebted to Spain, England, and France. All three countries wanted their money back and sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand repayment. Spain and England were able to negotiate with Mexico upon learning of Frances true intents and peacefully withdrew their forces. France, however, under the rule of Napoleon III wanted to expand their empire and saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so. Napoleon IIIsaw the conquest of Mexico as a step not only towards expanding his empire but also towards establishing a link to the United States where he planned to support the confederate army in an attempt to keep the U. S. split into two less powerful entities. Mexico was broke and France was moving in. Whats the US got to do with it? While all this was going on in Mexico, close by in the U. S. the Civil War had begun and it looked like the confederacy was winning. Only a year into the war and the confederacy had already expanded into New Mexico and Arizona, headed for California, or more specifically Los Angeles. As the war raged on, Latinos in the western states grew more and more concerned that slavery was coming for them. In response, large populations of Latinos in California enrolled in the U. S. Army, organizing cavalry in California and New Mexico. In both the U. S. and in Mexico, wars were being waged for freedom, democracy and equality. Latinos in the U. S. felt both wars acutely. Their home country of Mexico had overturned slavery 50 years earlier and was running under a democratic government that was now being threatened by France.

As LA Times writer, David E. Hayes-Bautista put it, Cinco de Mayo was made in America, by Latinos who proudly bore the U. S. and Mexican flags to show their support for both the Union and its values and for the Mexican victory over the French, who sought to undermine those values. The battle at Puebla was a significant victory not only for the underdog Mexican army and their fight for independence, but also because it closed off a major access point to the U. S. that Napoleon had hoped to take advantage of in order to further his support for the confederacy during the U. S. Civil War. One final reason why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with such veracity in the U. S. is the which President Franklin Roosevelt enacted in 1933 in his first inaugural address to encourage and improve relations with Latin American countries. Cinco de Mayo became a popular celebration of Mexican heritage and picked up steam in the United States during this period. So there you have itthe history of Cinco de Mayo. Now you have all the knowledge you need to impress your friends at your next Cinco de Mayo celebration. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Ready for a fiesta? As the name suggests, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 and we all know youre itching to get the party started. Despite the holidays popularity in the United States, many do not know what it is we are all celebrating each year. While often mistaken in the U. S. to be Mexicos Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates Mexicos victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico. It is much more popular in the Unites States and has been celebrated by American citizens since the 1860s. The observation of this holiday began as a means of resistance against French rule in Mexico, but today it is observed primarily to celebrate Mexico and its culture. Every year on May 5, parties erupt all over the country in celebration. So lets taco bout Cinco de Mayo, shall we? Cinco de Mayo How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 1. Learn more about Mexican history and culture In your free time, take a moment to read or research Mexicos interesting culture and history. Discover the beginnings of Cinco de Mayo and expand your appreciation of our southern neighbors. Take the time to learn more about how their history has helped shape our own and the ways in which they have contributed to U. S. culture. Every day is a good day to learn something new! 2. Dance to Mexican music Love to dance? Try learning traditional Mexican dances such as Jarabe Tapato. You can take a class or simply give it a go in your own home. Not only is it fun, but the exercise will help you feel less guilty when you chow down on traditional food later! The bigger the group, the bigger the fun, so invite your friends and have a little dance party! 3. Cook an authentic meal One of the best ways to get to know a culture is through food. So why not try creating a traditional Mexican meal at home, either alone or with friends? Skip the standards you can have those anytime.

Instead of guacamole or tacos, try making pozole or tamales. Youll love making it as much as eating it. Take The What Do You Actually Know About Cinco De Mayo? Quiz Why We Love Cinco de Mayo A. We love our neighbors We love our neighbors to the south and appreciate and admire their rich heritage and culture. When they celebrate, we celebrate along with them. They have also contributed to American history. The United States would not be what it is today without the support of Mexicos great citizens. Cinco de Mayo is a great time to revel in all Mexico has to offer and celebrate the country and all its added to our own! B. There are always celebrations Who doesnt love a good party? On Cinco de Mayo there are celebrations, parties, parades, and fiestas all across the country. Someone may invite you to one or you may throw your own. Alternatively, many restaurants, clubs, and organizations host events celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Wherever you are, theres guaranteed to be a fun event somewhere! Its a good time to relax, have fun, and enjoy the company of friends and family! C. Amazing food Lets face it we all love to eat. We love excuses to eat, especially when the food is terrific. Cinco de Mayo is an excellent occasion to enjoy Mexican cuisine and even try your hand at a traditional recipe you havent had before. If cooking isnt your thing, go out to eat! Support your local Mexican restaurant and try something new off the menu. Unleash your inner foodie and enjoy the extensive cuisine Mexico has to offer!

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