History of Cinco de Mayo 

Mexicans have a national holiday every May 5th called Cinco de Mayo.

Esperanza wrote:  "Cinco de Mayo is actually more of a US holiday than a Mexican one.  Folks in Mexico don't really celebrate the day!  For Mexicans, holidays that are more important are independence day (September 16) or the Mexican revolution (November 20).  Those days they really celebrate."

Barbara wrote:  "I wouldn't say that Cinco de Mayo is actually more of a US holiday than a Mexican one.  It is just celebrated differently. Cinco de mayo is definitely a very important date for Mexicans and we are very proud to celebrate every one of our national holidays. Our home will always have a Mexican flag out and will have a nice Mexican meal. At school kids learn about this day."


Over 100 years ago, France started a war with Mexico.  In the Mexican city of Puebla, two forts blocked the advance of the French troops.  There were about 6,000 French and 2,000 Mexican soldiers.  The Mexicans were under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

On May 5, 1862, the French attacked the two forts.  Before the day was over, one of the forts was destroyed and more than 1,000 French soldiers were killed.  The Mexicans had won the battle.  This battle is known as the Battle of Puebla.

The battlefield is now a city park, with a statue of General Zaragoza on horseback and a war museum that was once one of the forts the General and his men defended.

In the museum is a display of hundreds of toy soldiers arranged to show what happened during the battle.


Cinco de Mayo continues to be celebrated with parades, dancing and special foods.