Here’s a quick Spanish language lesson: Cinco de Mayo means May 5th. It celebrates the date when a small Mexican army overcame the odds to defeat Napoleon III’s larger French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
The battle was a morale boost for the nation but Cinco de Mayo has now taken on a wider meaning as a general celebration of Mexican-American culture, particularly in the States. In Mexico itself, you’ll witness military parades or battle reenactments as well as general feasting and celebrating. Head to Puebla for a festival celebrating the arts and local cuisine.