Every year on May 5, fiesta lovers across the United States gather to celebrate the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo—literally "May 5" in Spanish. And some U.S. partygoers may be surprised to learn that Cinco de Mayo history is short on beer, long on bloodshed.
Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which is actually September 16. On that date in 1810, Mexico declared its independence from Spanish rule.
Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates another Mexican army victory. Here’s what to know about the holiday—and how it became more widely celebrated in the U.S. than it is in Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo traces its origins to the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of far better equipped French forces