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Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

4000 Mexican soldiers took part in the Battle of Puebla, but they were less than the French, their military training was much poorer, and arms were in a deplorable state. However, they could win, and their victory raised the spirit of the whole country, supported the people, overwhelmed by the possible occupation.

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Today a park with a statue of General Ignacio Zaragoza, the commander of the Mexicans on horseback, is situated on the site of the battle. One of the forts is converted into a military museum, where you can see a huge layout, reproducing the events of that day. The Battle of Puebla symbolizes the fighting spirit and love of independence that characterize the Mexican people.

Since then the holiday is called Cinco de Mayo (in Spanish “cinco de mayo” means “the 5th of May”), it is quite important in Mexico, but has no character general national celebration. Nowadays, on this day and on its eve the civil ceremonies and concerts are arranged, many cities have parades. The most grandiose parades are held, of course, in Puebla. From April 30 to May 30 The May Festival is held here, and on May 5 a staging of battle is organized. It involves various military elements and ordinary civilians. When it’s finished, the participants and guests treat themselves to typical Mexican dishes to traditional music.

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Cinco de Mayo is sometimes called the Mexican analogue of St. Patrick's Day. It is celebrated with Mexican cuisine, traditional music and dancing. On this day the great festivals and carnivals are arranged. In some areas, the date celebration can run for a whole week.

It’s interesting that in the United States (mainly in the southern states, on the territories which once belonged to Mexico, but later annexed by the USA as a result of the US-Mexican War) Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by Mexicans as the Day of Mexican pride. Even in New York City the events devoted to the victory of Mexicans over the French are held: parades, exhibitions, film screenings, and folk music concerts.

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