I was asked the other day about why “the Mexican Independence Day” of Cinco de Mayo is such a big deal in the United States.
First off, I explained, “Cinco de Mayo, May 5, is not the Mexican Independence Day, that is on Sept. 16.”
So, here, for the uninformed, is a bit of information.
Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States and elsewhere in the world more than it is in Mexico, where it is primarily observed in the state of Puebla. That is where Mexican Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin’s army had an unlikely victory over the invading French on May 5, 1862.
France had begun an invasion of Mexico. At Puebla, the Mexican army of 4,000 men defeated the French army of 8,000, an army that had not been defeated in nearly 50 years.
However, this battle only delayed the French occupying Mexico, which it completed in a year.
Under pressure from the United States, the French withdrew in 1866 and 1867.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration here of the Mexican heritage and pride.
Diez y seis de Septiembre is the most important patriotic holiday in Mexico, which observes the Mexican independence.
This Sept. 16 will be the 200th anniversary of the date in Dolores Hidalgo when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castilla read the Gritto de Hidalgo (Call of Hidalgo) in 1810, beginning the independence move and launched the war against Spain.
I would expect that this holiday will be an enormous event in Mexico and in the U.S.