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Colorful Dresses

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico.[1][2] The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[3][4]

 

The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had known no defeat for almost 50 years.[5] However, Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.[6][7]

 

While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.[8] However, a common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day,[9] which actually is September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish),[10] the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

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Taken on May 3, 2009