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Cinco de Mayo: What is everybody celebrating? Donald W Miles

Ask about the history behind these celebrations, and a few may be able to tell you that the Mexicans defeated an invading French army on that date in 1862. Beyond that — except maybe in Puebla — general knowledge of the circumstances becomes sketchy. Why were the French there? What happened next? Did the French just go away? Many teachers in the U.S. still tell their classes that May fifth is Mexican Independence Day, which is dead wrong. read more

Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in USA than Mexico Tony Burton

US postage stamp commemorating Cinco de Mayo

Of the many battles fought on Mexican soil in the nineteenth century, only one — the Battle of Puebla, fought on May 5, 1862 — has given rise to a Mexican national holiday.

Why this one? The main reason is that the Battle of Puebla marks Mexico's only major military success since independence from Spain in 1821.

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2010: a special year in Mexico Allan Wall

Mexican flags for Independence Day celebrations — el 16 de septiembre
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009
By an amazing historical coincidence, calendar year 2010 is both a centennial and bicentennial for Mexico. And as you might well imagine, it leads to 2010 being a great national celebration for Mexico. Independence Day (September 15th-16th) and Revolution Day (November 20th) are both important patriotic celebrations. This year is special because it marks both the bicentennial of what became the Mexican independence movement (in 1810) and the centennial of the start of the Mexican Revolution (in 1910). read more
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