Today is 5th May. And if you are a Mexican or someone aware of the Mexican culture, you would not miss the importance this day carries in the Mexican psyche. It was the day the ill-equipped army of the Mexican troops triumphed over the mighty French troops led by Napolean III. Though the so-called victory was quite short-lived, it has a place of importance in the Mexican mindset.
Cinco De Mayo – What does that mean?
Cinco De Mayo in Spanish means the Fifth of May. It was the day of the historic Battle of Puebla in 1862 that the Mexican troops led by the General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French army. However, the Mexican army was defeated the following year by the French forces, but the day marked the resistance of Mexico to a foreign occupation.
What brought this war? Well, it was the decision of the Mexican government to impose a moratorium on the repayment of foreign debts for two years. This forced the English, French and Spanish forces to attack Mexico in 1861. While the English and Spanish retreated after conciliation with Mexico, French troops stayed on as they saw it as an opportunity to have control over the North American region.
How is the Cinco De Mayo day celebrated?
Well, it is a part of the Mexican pride and is marked by the speeches, parades and dances. In fact, the people participating in the parade dress in the battle gear and enact the battle of Puebla. There are several other r=events held to showcase the true Mexican culture and its essence. Though it is not a public holiday in Mexico, the public schools remain closed on the day and take part in various events across the region. The city of Puebla, renamed in the honour of General Zaragoza as Puebla de Zaragoza observes an official holiday.
Apart from Mexico, the day is also marked by events and activities in several parts of the US and the other countries as well. The celebrations are also held in Canada, Japan, Jamaica and Australia.
So, are you a Mexican or not, how about sharing the joy and pride that Mexicans feel about their bravery and resistance? Spread the awareness about the day and share the feelings with your fellow Mexicans.