Cinco de Mayo misconceptions |

Cinco de Mayo misconceptions

Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken as Mexican Independence Day. In fact, Mexico declared its independence from Spain on Sept. 16, 1810.

Cinco de Mayo actually marks the Batalla de Puebla, another significant event in Mexican history.

After the Mexican-American and Mexican Civil wars of the mid-1800s, Mexico was economically ruined, and deeply indebted to other nations.

Spain, England and France invaded Mexico in 1861, demanding payment.

The English and Spanish made deals and left. The French, however, planned to build an empire in Mexico, under the rule of the Archduke Maximilian, a relative of French ruler Napoleon III.

A well-equipped French army attacked Mexico City in 1862.

On May 5 that same year, 4,500 poorly outfitted Mexican soldiers defeated the French cavalry in what is now known in the United States as the Battle of Puebla.

So, even though Cinco de Mayo is not representative of Mexican Independence Day, it does symbolize liberty and freedom.

The holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico, but mainly in the state of Puebla. It is actually celebrated on a larger scale in America, through parades, mariachi music and Folklorico dancing.

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