Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
When it comes to Cinco de Mayo, most people think of fiestas, mariachi music, delicious street food and an overall positive vibe. But what exactly is the history behind this festive holiday?
It actually stems from the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, where a Mexican army of roughly 2,000 men were victorious over 6,000 French troops.
At the time, Mexico was in financial ruin after several years of internal strife, leading to the country defaulting on debt payments to France, Britain and Spain. While the latter two countries negotiated and withdrew their forces from Mexico, France decided to carpe diem and try to carve an empire out of Mexican territory – ultimately facing defeat.
The holiday is rumored to have gained popularity in the United States in the 1960s, when Chicano activists began raising awareness of the victory. It was a great way to remember the historical win as well as an opportunity to get Chicano Studies programs started on campuses.
Over the years, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage – something we believe makes our lives a little brighter here in the Tri-Cities!