Cinco De Mayo
by Haley Grubbs
In 1861 Benito Juárez became president of a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to make an empire out of Mexican territory. France and Mexico went to war, and the Mexican Army battled and defeated the strong French army.
Cinco De Mayo in Mexico
Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.
Cinco De Mayo in the United States
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations. Many people celebrate with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston