Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo!

Do you know what is celebrated on 5 de Mayo? 

No, it is not Mexico's independence day... that's on September 16th. 5 de Mayo {May 5th} is the day that the Battle of Puebla took place. Here is a small explanation of events.

When Benito Juarez was president of Mexico in 1861, the country was facing financial issues after several internal reform wars. Furthermore the Mexican government was forced to stop making payments on their foreign debts to Spain, England and France. 

So because of this Spain, England and France united forces and arrived in Mexico to protect their interests and collect their debts. Napoleon III was ruling France and in addition he sent Count Laurencez and an additional army of 6,000 soldiers to Mexico to support his troops, after this Spain and England felt they wanted to have a peaceful relationship with Mexico so they withdrew and sailed back to Europe after signing a new debt collection agreement. 

Count Laurencez never declared war to Mexico as he strongly believed that it would be an easy take over -France was considered a highly disciplined country and feared by many due to its power in Europe. So he ordered the taking of Loreto and Guadalupe in the city of Puebla and to his surprise Mexico was ready with General Ignacio Zaragoza and his army of 4,800 soldiers. Zaragoza gained strength in Puebla with civilians uniting to his army.  

The Battle took place on May 5th of the year 1862 and Zaragoza and his army were able to stop Count Laurencez and his army, marking a turning point in Mexican national pride. 

Although celebrated yearly it is not considered a federal holiday in Mexico. 

If France would've had the victory in this battle over Mexico, it would of resulted in aiding the South in the American Civil War and history for the United States would be so different.

While studying and living in Mexico we were taught the history of this date, however we never celebrated it. My dad is originally from Puebla and he knew everything about this date and always told us about it, still we never celebrated it.

Yes, that is me when I was 10 years old dancing

The holiday that is celebrated and that is observed {no school or work} is Mexico's Independence on September 16th where you dress like in the old Mexican days and enjoy Mariachi music as well as ballet flolklorico {traditional Mexican dances}. Another misconception is that Flamenco comes from Mexico. It does not, Flamenco is traditional Spanish dances -from Spain.

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