April showers bring May flowers, but May also brings the well-known Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo. Literally translated to “the fifth of May,” this holiday celebrates the Mexican army's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The holiday is celebrated all over the world, but mainly in Mexico and the United States, through immigration of the culture. There was also a battle between the Mexican president, Benito Juarez and Napoleon III, who ruled France at the time. Mexico was in debt to the European government and could not pay it, so France, Britain, and Spain sent their naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico. Spain and Britain negotiated with Mexico, and decided to withdraw their men.
The French had different plans, however, seeing this as an opportunity to try and immigrate some of the French people into Mexico. The French came to Velacruz with hundreds of men, causing Juarez and his government to retreat. The French, after their first victory, wanted to try and take over Puebla de los Ángeles, Mexico; they sent 6,000 French men to fight the 2,000 loyal men under Juarez. The battle was long and bloody, and it stretched from daybreak to early evening. With very limited supplies and soldiers, the Mexican army had killed 500 French men and had only lost a hundred of their own. A full out war from morning to evening, a hard fought battle and an amazing win for Mexico. After the victory over the French. Mexico turned the win into a holiday.
The holiday is often celebrated with big get-togethers of families to share a meal. Parades flood the streets with Mexican and French history written all over. There is often a farmers market with countless cultural items for sale. Some of the items are hats traditional to their country, and lots of little trinkets and things for all ages. A large course meal is made for the whole family. There are always plenty of cultural foods like tacos, tamales, chimichangas, and much more. Cinco de Mayo is a commemorable day about war, history, and Mexican culture that goes far beyond commercialized indulgence.