Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a holiday held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla. The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico, which occurs on September 16th.On the other hand, in many ways an important holiday from a US perspective, since the French, seeing that the US was otherwise occupied (US Civil War and all that), tried to conquer Mexico and establish a French Empire under Emperor Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon III).
Just imagine. Francophones on the Southern Border as well as up on the Northern Border. And, Bonapartism.
We dodged a bullet there. A big thanks to Mexico and General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
Regards — Cliff