Feliz Cinco de Mayo! But it's not really Mexican Independence Day
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Hey, did you know that May 5th is NOT Mexican independence day?
For real. People in Mexico don't even really celebrate it, unless they live in a certain region.
Here's the lowdown:
In 1861, Benito Juarez was president of Mexico, which was basically down in the dumps financially. Mexico had debts with various European countries and had to default on the loans. Napoleon III decided to send some thugs (how do you say "thug" in French?) down to Mexico to take over or "collect" what was owed. 6,000 thugs, to be exact.
In May of 1962, they headed to the city of Puebla de Los Angeles to what they thought would be an easy win. But Benito J. scurried around rallying an eclectic mix of his own would-be soldiers, and sent them to Puebla. 2,000 Mexicans, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, helped prepare the city for a fight.
The French troops attacked on May 5th, but the Mexican soldiers were like
"NOT TODAY, amigos!"
The battle lasted the whole day, and at the end, less than 100 Mexicans had died, compared to almost 500 French.
VIVA MEXICO! VIVA PUEBLA!
The French withdrew from Puebla (though not from Mexico in general until six years later).
SO, while the city of Puebla celebrates Cinco de Mayo, people in other parts of Mexico generally don't. It's become mostly an American celebration of Mexico. Which is cool anyway, because any reason to celebrate Mexico is a good one, in my opinion!!