5 Cinco de Mayo Facts Most Americans Don’t Know

Getting ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and don’t really know its significance?

No worries, you aren’t the only one planning to party the night away without a clue as to what exactly it’s all about.

Hopefully, the following facts will forever clear up your misunderstandings:

1. Cinco de Mayo is not tied to Mexico’s Independence Day. If you truly want to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day, you will have store your fireworks and margarita mix until September 16, the actual day Mexico became its own nation.

2. Cinco de mayo was popularized by Chicano activists in the 1960s and 1970s. The celebration is one of 365 festivals celebrated by people of Mexican descent and focuses on the Battle of Puebla. The 1862 battle saw Mexico’s Army defeat France during the Franco-Mexican War that raged between 1861 and 1867.

3. Cinco de mayo is all about underdogs. In the Battle of Puebla, Mexico was the definite underdog. The Army didn’t have any formal training and very little equipment, and was greatly outnumbered by well-funded France — yet still had the power to outwit and outmaneuver its forces.

Remember as you’re doing the Mexican hat dance you’re honoring the gallantry and imagination of the underdog!

4. Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big deal in Mexico. While some in Mexico celebrate the day at home with family and friends, the government doesn’t treat it with the same importance as Independence Day.

5. Cinco de Mayo is becoming more popular throughout the world each year. The celebration continues to spread throughout the globe as the years progress. Countries such as Australia, Canada, and Malta reportedly have a blast on the fifth of May. Rumors are that a growing number of European citizens are planning their own Cinco de Mayo gatherings in 2014.