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Monday, April 23, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: Quick Facts and History

From www.kaboose.com
Did you know that…
  • Cinco de Mayo means “the fifth of May.” Many people believe it is Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is incorrect. (Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16.) Rather, Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a battle that took place between the Mexicans and the French in 1862.
     
  • The battle is known as the Battle of Puebla, and it celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French. It also marks a turning point in Mexican national pride. A small, poorly armed group of about 4,500 men were able to stop the French invasion of a well-equipped French army that had about 6,500 or even 8,000 soldiers. The victory made the Mexican people very happy, and helped create a feeling of national unity.
     
  • While Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico, it is mainly observed in the state capital of Puebla. However, in the United States, it is becoming a popular holiday to celebrate Mexican culture. Kids and families can try delicious Mexican food, listen and dance to Mexican music, make and admire Mexican art, and shop for fun souvenirs and products at markets called “Mercado.”
     
  • The largest Cinco de Mayo event in the world is held in Los Angeles, California, where more than 600,000 people celebrate with music and food. The whole event is called Festival de Fiesta Broadway. Two other big festival are held far from Mexico, in Denver, Colorado, and St Paul’s, Minnesota, but they draw hundreds of thousands of participants.  
     
  • There aren’t any specific foods associated with Cinco de Mayo, but traditional Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, burritos, guacamole and tacos are popular.    


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