So whats Cinco de Mayo, anyway? |

So whats Cinco de Mayo, anyway?

Amanda Holt MillerTelegram Staff Writer

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexicos Independence Day. May 5 is, however, a very special and important day for many Mexicans. Its the day Mexico defeated the French army at the Battle of Puebla.The holiday is most vigorously celebrated in the Mexican state Puebla. The day is particularly festive in the capitol city, also named Puebla. Its recognized but not widely celebrated in other parts of Mexico and in America.I think its even more celebrated here than it is in Mexico, said Maggie Holdsworth, a Spanish teacher at Rifle High School who is from Chihuahua, Mexico.They do celebrate it in the southern state, in Puebla, Holdsworth said. In the rest of Mexico they mostly celebrate Sept. 16, Independence Day.Mexico successfully separated from Spain on Sept. 16, 1821. The battle in Puebla didnt happen until 41 years later, in 1862.Mexicos economy was devastated by a series of wars, including its difficult war for independence, the Mexican-American War, a Mexican civil war and a number of internal political takeovers.Mexico had significant debt to Spain, England and France. When Mexico stopped paying, France invaded. The battle at Puebla marked the end of that war.Students in Holdsworths class will bring food to cook in class and her third-year students will break a piata.

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