MT. PLEASANT, Mich. - Why do Americans celebrate Cinco De Mayo? The Mexican holiday, celebrated on May 5th, is usually thought of as the "Mexican Independence Day", but that is false. The Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th of every year, so what exactly is Cinco De Mayo and why is it a large celebration in the United States?
The holiday in Mexico is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: the Day of the Battle of Puebla), and surprisingly is only a minor holiday that is celebrated almost entirely in the Mexican state of Puebla. The battle took place in 1862, which was smack dab during the American Civil War going on at the time, and was between the Mexican Army and the French. The French presence in Mexico at the time was a strategic move by Napoleon - by potentially gaining a foothold in Mexico, the French could then support the Confederate Army.
This defeat of the French by the Mexican army though small, was very definitive in the retreat of the French Army from North America at the time. This gave time for the United States Union Forces to make strategic advances that would lead to their success in the Civil War. Thus Cinco De Mayo can be seen as a turing point in the U.S Civil War, and was first celebrated in Southern California in 1863 as a show of solidarity with Mexico against French rule.
So why do Americans celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Piggybacking off of the celebration of the Day of the Battle of Puebla, many Mexicans living in America also used this day to celebrate their culture, and thus the Americanized Cinco De Mayo celebration was born! We as Americans celebrate by honoring the Mexican culture, celebrating Mexican food, and of course, another excuse to drink all day (similar to St. Patrick's Day).
Does your family celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Do you have any favorite Mexican dishes that your family makes during this Mexican celebration? If so, share them with us on our Facebook wall! At Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant we strive to provide our customers with a car buying experience that is accommodating, stress-free and fun! Visit us at our Chevrolet dealership located at 4580 E Pickard Rd in Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 or our Buick GMC Cadillac dealership located at 116 N. Mission St in Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.
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