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How does America celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

CINCO de Mayo is a celebration that takes place every year on May 5.

The festive day is not a federal holiday in the US.

How does America celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

It is heavily celebrated in the US, "particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations," according to

The occasion is marked with "parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano."

Some of the largest Cinco de Mayo festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.

Many people hang up banners and schools may alter their curriculum to teach students about the history of the day.

What happened during the Battle of Puebla?

At the time France, Britain and Spain all sent naval forces to Mexico, according to

All three countries were owed money and demanded repayment, but Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces.

However, France would storm Veracruz in 1861, driving out the Mexican government.

France was ruled by Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I.

About 6,000 French troops were set to attack the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles, according to

Even though they were outnumbered, Mexico forced the French soldiers to withdraw during the battle.

The French lost about 500 soldiers, while Mexico lost 100, according to

Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza was instrumental in the victory.

"Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement," according to

"In 1867 - thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War - France finally withdrew."

Zaragoza would die from typhoid fever at age 33 later in 1862.

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