What's the big deal about Cinco de Mayo — literally translated as the fifth of May? Here's what you need to know to celebrate the day:
1. Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. Most Americans confuse this holiday with Mexico's Independence Day, but that date is Sept. 16.
2. Cinco de Mayo IS a celebration of the Battle of Puebla. The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867).
3. Cinco de Mayo IS a celebrations of underdogs. Why make such a big deal over one victory? The win at Puebla was a huge deal for Mexico because the Mexican Army went into the battle as underdogs. They had no training and no equipment and were vastly outnumbered against the well-armed, well-disciplined and well-funded French, who up until that point had defeated them at every turn. Yet, they prevailed.
4. Cinco de Mayo IS NOT really a big deal in Mexico. With all of the fuss around May 5th here in the U.S., you would think it was the biggest holiday in Mexico — but that's not the case. That honor goes to Mexican Independence Day. Still, Mexicans do celebrate the day with family get-togethers, fireworks, dancing and lots of yummy food.
5. Cinco de Mayo IS a holiday for everyone to celebrate. Many towns around the U.S. have festivals, fiestas, dances, fireworks, food and music in honor of the holiday. It's a great time to teach your kids about the culture, people and history of Mexico — or even learn a little yourself.