Cinco de Mayo festival in Yakima

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Often mistakenly associated with Mexican Independence Day, the holiday commemorates the date of the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

Cinco de Mayo, the day bars and college campuses across America get packed with revelers eager to feast on guacamole and down tequila.


Every year, the Cinco de Mayo festival in Yakima keeps growing by inviting new vendors and performers.

Cinco de Mayo - which literally translates to "May 5" - is not Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and marks the start of the war of Mexican independence from Spain.


While people all over the USA will be sipping margaritas and pounding Coronas today, only a small percentage of Mexicans in Mexico will celebrate the regional holiday. The battle wasn't a decisive turning point, and the French ended up taking Mexico City a year later and ruling for about three more years. That defeat nearly singlehandedly restored national pride to a country that had been torn apart by civil war and foreign invasions for decades, and to this day it has become a staple celebration throughout the entire continent.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's independence day from Spain, which occurred in 1810 and is celebrated on September 16. And if you're a Kentuckian who took to the Internet to find out when the Mexican commemorative holiday is, you're reportedly among the majority.


Despite the holiday's popularity in the United States, many don't know what they're actually celebrating.

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