Cinco de Mayo

The Puebla Conflict

Puebla de Los Angeles, a tiny village in the eastern part of Mexico, was assaulted by 6,000 French soldiers led by General Charles Latrille de Lorencez, who were confident that victory would be achieved quickly. Juárez, from his recently established base in the northern region, gathered a disparate group of 2,000 faithful soldiers–a significant number of whom were either Native Mexicans or of mixed heritage–and dispatched them to Puebla.

On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza, a Texas-born Mexican, led an assault on the city of Puebla, with his army supported by heavy artillery. The Mexicans, who were poorly supplied and vastly outnumbered, fortified the town and prepared for the assault.

What Was the Duration of the Battle of Puebla?

During the confrontation, less than 100 Mexicans had perished, and by the time the French eventually withdrew, they had suffered casualties of almost 500 soldiers. The skirmish endured from sunrise until early dusk.

After the end of the Civil War, France finally withdrew from its position of aiding its besieged neighbor, thanks in part to political pressure and military support from the United States. The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1867, represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and the resistance movement, although it was not a major strategic win against the French in the overall war.

In 1864, Maximilian Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, who had been installed as the emperor of Mexico by Napoleon, was captured and executed by Juárez’s forces. After months of battling typhoid fever, General Zaragoza, who had renamed Los Angeles de Puebla to honor his historic triumph, died.

Fifth of May in Mexico

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, Mexico, where Zaragoza’s unlikely victory took place, although it is also celebrated in other parts of the country.

May 5th is not a federal holiday, so many Mexicans can still find open stores, banks, and offices. However, this day is like any other for Mexicans, as it includes festive events and recreations of the Battle of Puebla, along with military parades and other traditions.

What is the Reason for Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the United States?

Celebrated widely in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is often interpreted as a significant celebration of Mexican heritage and culture, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.

In the 1960s, Chicano activists brought attention to the holiday during the Battle of Puebla, partially due to their connection with the triumph of Indigenous Mexicans (like Juárez) against European intruders.

Some of the biggest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. Celebrations today include traditional foods like tacos and mole poblano, as well as Mexican folk dancing and mariachi music. The occasion is marked by parties, parades, and revelers.