MoneyMatters101.com Home

May Holidays
Armed Forces Day
Cinco de Mayo
Endangered Species Day
Foster Care Month
Learn About Compost Day
Lupus Awareness Month
Memorial Day
Missing Children's Day
Mother's Day
National Bike Day
No Homework Day
Save Your Hearing Day
VE Day
Waiters/Waitresses Day


Email Us




Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo translated into English literally means the 5th of May. It commemorates the Mexican army's May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla de Los Angeles during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). The victory significantly increased the morale and bolstered patriotism of the Mexican people. It also began the expulsion of French forces from Mexican territory.

Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated as a national holiday in all of Mexico. It is a regional holiday primarily in the state of Puebla with some limited recognition in other parts of the country in which military parades and other events are held to commemorate the historical significance of that day.

Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico. It has come to symbolize Mexican independence and offers an intimate look at the many facets of Mexican lifestyles and culture. It is especially significant in areas where there are large numbers of people who are of Mexican descent such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, El Paso, Phoenix, Tucson, and Chicago.

Mexicans living in California during the American Civil War are credited with being the first to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States. Parades, picnics, festivals, mariachi music, dancing, and performances by popular Latino bands have become staples for Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

History of Cinco de Mayo:

In 1861, Mexico was in serious financial trouble and could not pay it's debts to European governments. It's newly elected president, Benito Juarez, was force to default on Mexico's obligations to France, Spain, and Great Britain and declared that the debt would not be paid for another two years.

The three European powers sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico to demand immediate payment. After negotiations, Great Britain and Spain withdrew their naval forces but France remained with a large and powerful navy and forced the Mexican government into retreat from Veracruz.

The French sent 8000 troops to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in central Mexico. It was the intentions of France to make a large part of Mexico a part of it's empire. On the morning of May 5, 1862, the well equipped French army, supported by heavy artillery, attacked Puebla de Los Angeles.

With a force of 4000 poorly trained men under his command, General Ignacio Zaragoza, although vastly outnumbered, fortified and defended Puebla de Los Angeles and forced the French army to retreat in defeat. Although not a major battle, it was a highly symbolic victory for the Mexican government and helped bolster the resistance movement. Puebla de Los Angeles was later renamed for General Zaragoza.

Although many people mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, it is not. Mexico had already gained it's independence from Spain forty years earlier on August 24, 1821. Mexican Independence Day is commemorated on September 16, the anniversary of priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s famous “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”), a call to arms against Spanish colonial rule in 1810.

The 12 months of the year:

  • January-February-March-April
  • May-June-July-August
  • September-October-November-December
  • Book of the Month

    Book about investing

    Advertise on MoneyMatters101.com



    Accessibility Policy| Terms Of Use| Privacy Policy| Advertise with Us| Contact Us

    Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.

    We are looking to create more mutually beneficial partnerships. If you are interested in partnering with MoneyMatters101.com, send us your proposal.


    Link to MoneyMatters101.com