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A Journey Into Paradise

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

17 February, 2014

Although Cinco de Mayo has traditionally been a Mexican holiday,most revelers don’t realize that in recent years it has actually achieved greater popularity among foreigners than it has among many of Mexico’s very own citizens. Still,the widespread acknowledgement of Cinco de Mayo around the world is a testament to Mexico’s growing prominence on the world stage,and the history surrounding this holiday is definitely worth taking a few moments to discover. 

The most common misconception about Cinco de Mayo is that it is meant to celebrate Mexico’s independence. In fact,Mexico’s independence day is September 15 and Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) celebrates the day in 1862 when the Mexican army defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla. This,despite the fact that the Mexican fighters were outnumbered by more than two to one. Not only was this unlikely victory very important politically at the time,but it also marks the last time that one of the Americas was invaded by an army from another continent. 

Today,Cinco de Mayo has evolved to become much more than just a celebration of this long-ago battle and highlights Mexican culture and heritage around the world. Cinco de Mayo celebrations often include mariachi music performances,parades and street festivals in cities and towns throughout Mexico and the rest of the world.

Still,the state of Puebla where the battle took place,along with Mexico City,remain the most popular places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. Although plenty of other celebrations will be taking place across the country and in the nation’s most popular tourist destinations,such as Cancun,Playa del Carmen,Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Students are given a day off from school in honor of the holiday,while the closing of banks and other government institutions varies from state to state.

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