Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
The Battle was significant for at least two reasons. First, while outnumbered almost two-to-one, the Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had known no defeat for almost 50 years. Second, this battle was important because it would be “the last time that an army from another continent invaded the Americas.” While significant, however, Cinco de Mayo is not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico.
While Cinco de Mayo has limited or no significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.However, a common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish), which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico
As long as they have fireworks, any day will do!!
Organizers of the Cinco de Mayo festival in Portland Oregon USA said the flu scare is weighing heavily on their minds as they prepare for Friday’s grand opening. Festival organizers said they’ve been in constant contact with health officials, who said there is no reason Cinco de Mayo should not go on as planned. Workers were busy Thursday setting up for the kick-off celebration. Officials said they expect more than 300,000 people to attend the five-day fiesta but there are concerns. Organizers said all week they’ve been in contact with county and state health officials. They said just because there will be large crowds doesn’t mean the festival shouldn’t go on.
Organizers said they are making efforts to ensure people feel safe by doubling the amount of hand-washing stations at the fiesta and making sure garbage cans are emptied more frequently. They are also trying to have more health experts on hand to answer questions.Organizers said this is the 25th year of the festival and in all of that time there have never been health problems reported and they plan to continue that tradition.”More important than safety I wouldn’t compromise it for anything. That said, we’re still getting the green light from health officials. They are telling us things will be fine. We will have a good time. I believe them,” event organizer John Cardenas said.Friday night there will be fireworks, dozens of food vendors, musicians, artists and carnival rides.