Most people believe Cinco De Mayo, or the 5th of May, toÂ be Mexico’s Independence Day, however, this is not true.Â Â At midnightÂ on September 15, 1810 is when the country actually gained its independence from Spain. Â So, what did happen on May 5, 1862 to cause such a holiday?Â Well, my friends, it was the Battle of Puebla.
As a new country just recently claiming independence from Spain, things weren’t always easy.Â You know, with war around every corner:Â the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), the Mexican Civil War of 1858 & many other political uprisings leftÂ the fledgling country with only a fewÂ coins in the bank.Â The summer of 1861 saw President Benito Juarez issue a two year moratorium on foreign debt payments, which hoped to restore financial progress.Â
Of course, this didn’t go over so well.Â The English, Spanish & French wereÂ not wiling to allow Mexico thisÂ two yearÂ delay and instead invaded to get their monies by whatever means necessary.Â While the Spanish & English, being the good guys they are,Â eventually withdrew, theÂ stubborn French patriots stuck with their financial goals and added establish an empire in Mexico under Napoleon III in the pot.Â The tricky French also had their eyes on the US states and were seeking aiming to help the Southern rebels in the Civil War.
WhichÂ now leaves us toÂ the answer to our Cinco De Mayo query.Â A most important battle took place on May 5, 1862 when the French army was defeated by a small army of Mestizo & Zapotec Indians under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza.Â This battle victory symbolized freedom to the Mexican people and gave them hope.Â After the end of the US Civil War, the Union sent support to the Mexican army and succeeded in driving out the French.
And there you have it, the Cinco de Mayo history.Â The reasons behind this wonderful holiday.Â And what wouldÂ a holiday be without festivals & food?Â Cinco De Mayo festivalsÂ areÂ knownÂ for theirÂ delicious food & drinks as well as music & dancing.Â I cannot give you the dancing, but let’s step into my kitchen for food & drinks!
Watch out for the ‘Cinco De Mayo Recipes & Party Menu’ post coming soon.