Cinco De Mayo has recently become a household holiday, but why do we celebrate it? Here are some facts you may not know about the celebration of the Fifth of May.

Why do we celebrate it?

Well, contrary to what you may have heard or believed, Cinco De Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico's Independence like our 4th of July. Mexican Independence is celebrated on September 16th, anniversary of their independence from Spain. Cinco De Mayo actually celebrates the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Many believe that if the battle had gone the other way, it would have had adverse effects on the American Civl War. So really, Cinco De Mayo is both a celebration of Mexican culture and a "thank you" for allowing the Civil War to turn out the way it did. I'm sure some people in the south would react otherwise.

Where do we celebrate it?

Cinco de Mayo is actually not observed in Mexico except for in some small pockets. The holiday is for all intents and purposes an American holiday.

How do we celebrate it?

I like to think of Cinco De Mayo as a Mexican St. Patrick's Day. Instead of drinking Guinness and corned beef, we enjoy Coronas, Tequila, and various Mexican-inspired dishes. It has become a very much commercial holiday, so your favorite bar or pub will surely be participating in the festivities.

http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/0505_060505_cinco_de_mayo.html