Cinco de Mayo, meaning the fifth day of May. Cinco de Mayo formally commemorates the anniversary of an victory by Mexican and French during the the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862. People outside Mexico mistakenly think Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which is incorrect. Mexican Independence Day is September 16. 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 has become a popular holiday to celebrate Mexican culture. Kids and families can try delicious Mexican food, listen and dance to Mexican music while admiring Mexican art, and shop for fun souvenirs and products at markets called “Mercado.” 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 almost 8,000 soldiers. The victory made the Mexican people very happy, and helped create a feeling of national unity which marks the victory battle of Mexicans over the French. Today, one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the world is held in Los Angeles, California, where over 600,000 people celebrate with music, dancing, and food. The entire event is called the Festival de Fiesta Broadway, a mile long street fair. Two other big festival are held far from Mexico, in Denver, Colorado, and St Paul’s, Minnesota, and draw in 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 amongst the Mexican traditions.
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