Cinco De Mayo

Significance of Cinco de Mayo 2021

Cinco de Mayo 2021 is a celebration that is observed, yearly, on May 5. It is a day that commemorates the Mexican army's victory, on May 5, 1862, over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). In the United States Cinco de Mayo 2021 has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture but should not be confused with Mexico's Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16.

History of Cinco de Mayo

The history of Cinco de Mayo 2021 dates back to 1861 when the Benito Juárez became the president of Mexico. Due to the financial turmoil that Mexico was in, Benito Juárez was forced to default on his debts to European governments and in response to this France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III decided to use the opportunity as an attempt to make a dependent empire out of Mexican territory.

Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat. Consequently, 6,000 French troops set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. President Juárez then rounded up a force of 2,000 men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla to fight against the French.

On May 5, 1862, the battle between Mexico and France lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French; this defeat represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government. It should be noted that Cinco de Mayo 2021 is not the anniversary of the defeat and expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans, which occurred in 1867 when the French withdrew from Mexico.

Traditions of Cinco de Mayo 2021

Traditionally, Cinco de Mayo 2021 is seen as a time of celebration and pride. Although this day is not a federal holiday in the United States, many cities (especially those in the South-west) hold local parades and celebrations. Additionally, many people hang up banners and schools organize lessons and special events to educate their pupils about the culture and history of Americans of Mexican descent.