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Five Things You Didn’t Know About Cinco de Mayo

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Today is Cinco de Mayo, and most people celebrate without knowing what they’re actually celebrating.  So here are five things you didn’t know about Cinco de Mayo.

#1.)  It’s Not Mexican Independence Day. Mexican Independence Day…or “Gritto de Delores”…is celebrated on September 16th, and it commemorates the day in 1810 when a Catholic priest declared war on Spain.

#2.)  It Celebrates a Victory Over France. In 1861, Mexico defaulted on loans from a bunch of countries in Europe, so France invaded the next year.  The French hadn’t been beaten in 50 years, but on May 5th, 1862, the Mexicans won the Battle of Puebla.

The French eventually took the country over a year later, but Cinco de Mayo celebrates the FIRST battle.

#3.)  It’s More Popular in the U.S. Than It Is in Mexico. It’s not a national holiday In Mexico, and it’s mostly celebrated by people near the city of Puebla, which is in the southeastern part of the country.

It only became popular in the U.S. in the 50’s and 60’s, partly because of FDR’s ‘Good Neighbor’ policy of strengthening our ties with Latin America.

#4.)  It’s Also Popular in…Malta? Malta’s an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, just below Italy. And Cinco de Mayo is popular there too, but only because people in Malta supposedly LOVE Corona.  Which makes sense.

Corona’s sold in over 150 countries, and it’s the fifth best-selling beer in the world.

#5.)  They Celebrate in Chandler, Arizona by Racing Chihuahuas. There’s no real reason behind it. Other than the obvious reason that it’s AWESOME.


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