For every special and memorable event across the world there is always a myth or mistaken belief to go with it. Albert Einstein never failed mathematics at school, chewing gum doesn't take 7 years to digest and Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of the Mexican Independence Day. This is celebrated several months later on September 16th and is known as Grito de Dolores.
Grito de Dolores has been celebrated
since October 1825 and marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. Today celebrations involve the bells of the National Palace being rung by the Mexican President in Mexico City. The Grito Mexicano is read, known as the cry of patriotism, and includes the calling out names of heroes from the war. This is a national celebration and the day is considered to be a patriotic holiday.
In contrast to this, Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, is a celebration that was created much later and is a commemoration of the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on that date in 1862. The day is celebrated as a remembrance of the beginning of freedom and democracy during the beginning of the American Civil War. In Mexico and Mexican-speaking cities in the US the day is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, meaning The Day of the Battle of Puebla.
Today Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with an embrace of Mexican culture and cuisine. Some cities across the world also celebrate with a Cinco de Mayo festival, showcasing Mexican food and drink, music and dancing. The Battle of Puebla is recognized as significant to this day as the Mexicans defeated a considerably larger French army with better equipment. In fact, the French army was approximately double the size of the Mexican army and had not been defeated for half a century.