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Unleash Your Fiesta Spirit On Cinco De Mayo, White Plains

These well-dressed youngsters attended a Cinqo de Mayo celebration in Texas, in 2014.
These well-dressed youngsters attended a Cinqo de Mayo celebration in Texas, in 2014. Photo Credit: Memorial Student Center Texas A&M Flickr

Thursday, May 5, is Cinco de Mayo, another adopted holiday that Americans roundly celebrate -- but may not understand why.

Cinco de Mayo is literally "Five of May" in Spanish. It is not, in fact, Mexico's Independence Day. That's Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo is actually the commemoration of a military victory over French forces, in 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

"The Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath," Time magazine noted.

The battle may have also been very significant to the U.S., however. Historians have theorized that, if the French had won that battle -- and won that war before the U.S. Civil War was finished -- France may have come to the aid of the Confederacy.

Cinqo de Mayo wasn't widely celebrated in the U.S. until the 1980s, when companies, especially those marketing beer, began to promote it. Many celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially its music and dancing.

So what are you doing to mark the occasion? Please feel free to share, in the comments section.

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