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Impress Your Friends: What's The Story Behind Cinco de Mayo, Anyway?

The real reason behind the celebration.

Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Patch file photo.)
Cinco de Mayo celebration. (Patch file photo.)

Cinco de Mayo as celebrated in the United States is one of the more misunderstood holidays out there.

While partying tends to mark the 5th of May, the holiday does not celebrate Mexican independence, as many believe — that's September 16 — but instead has its roots in the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. 

  • How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Tell us in comments below. 

Defeating the French in anything might not seem like much of a victory today, but when Napoleon III led the attack in Mexico in 1861, he did so with a force considered the premier army in the world.

On May, 5, 1862, though, the Mexicans crushed the French, which led to the holiday that in the United States has evolved into a general celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

Tom Hollman May 05, 2014 at 08:15 PM
RIGHT UP THERE WITH QWANZA ABOUT AS EXCITING TO ME AS A WET FART AT A DRIVE THEATRE IN WINTER
Hawa Coulibaly May 05, 2014 at 09:22 PM
It's Kwanzaa and quite frankly, I wish folks would stop calling it an African Holiday because no one in Africa know about it... The only African part about it is the Swahili they use...
Josh Peterson May 05, 2014 at 09:58 PM
The link to this article from AOL's main page says the story contains 200 words. It only contains 128. Where are the other 72 words? Did you leave out part of the story?
Ben Vitale June 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM
Cinco De Mayo! Hummmm... I wear a Cinco De Mayo T shirt and I'm Italian! I would love to see Cinco De Mayo celebrated in Patchogue! The international community is what makes life interesting!

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