Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrating Mexican culture. Many people think it is the Mexican Independence day, but that isn't true!
Mexico's Independence Day happens on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo happens on May 5th. In fact, "Cinco de Mayo" means
"May 5th" in Spanish.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates a Mexican victory on May 5, 1862 when the Mexicans beat the French who were trying to invade Mexico.
This fight was called the Battle of Puebla.
The French army was twice as big as the Mexican army and had better weapons, but the Mexicans won anyway. So thinking about
the Battle of Puebla makes Mexicans feel especially proud of themselves because they were brave enough to fight against the odds and win.
But surprisingly, Cinco de Mayo isn't really a big holiday in Mexico. It became an important holiday among Mexican immigrants to the
United States, who celebrate Mexican culture, history and traditions on that day. So in that way, it is a lot like St. Patrick's Day. Just like
Irish-Americans celebrate their Irish heritage on St Patrick's day, Mexican-Americans celebrate their Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo
too. And also like St. Patrick's day, Cinco de Mayo is a festive holiday which is usually celebrated with parties and parades.
Mexican-Americans and their friends dress up in traditional Mexican costumes, sing Mexican songs, do Mexican folk dances, and share
Mexican food and drinks.