Feliz Cinco de Mayo and No! It’s not the Mexican 4th of July!

9780520272132Every year as we approach Cinco de Mayo, friends seek me out to ask about Mexican Independence Day and the what Mexicans do to celebrate.   They almost feel let down when I tell them Cinco de Mayo is not about Independence and that most Mexicans will be working.

 When I see the “what you talkin’ about Willis” look in their eyes, I take the time to explain.

Cinco de Mayo is the day the Mexican Army, under the direction of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the French troops in the Battle of Puebla.  In Mexico, unless you are in Puebla, the day is hardly even mentioned. It seems as if the hoopla generated by the day here in the US is more a creation of Budweiser than anything else.

Here’s a great history of the battle and a great read on the day from our friend, Suzanne Barbezat on her About.com Mexico Travel site. 

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