Cinco de Mayo History - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Cinco de Mayo History

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Cinco de Mayo is typically associated as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. It is often confused with Mexican Independence Day which is actually September 16th. People all across the United States gather each year to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. However, why do we celebrate this holiday?

"I go to the parties but I don't know the back ground of it" says Lisa Hurt.

The history of May 5th goes all the way back to 1862, where the Mexican army won over France at the Battle of Puebla. France came with approximately 8,000 troops and invaded Mexico while Mexico's troop was half their size with about 4,000 troops. Although they were overmatched, the Mexicans came out victorious.

In fact, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, it has evolved into a huge celebration overtime in the United States particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music and food.

Chairman of the Cinco de Mayo Festival Committee Paul Rodriguez says, "We had hamburgers, we had elotes which is corn, we had snow cones, we had a variety of different things."

Along with the food and festivities, celebrating this holiday is just one of many ways that Rodriguez feels is a way to stay connected with his culture.

"Basically it's an opportunity for us here in the United States to have roots in Mexico. To celebrate some of our heritage that we carry on with here in Texas" he says.

Much of Texoma's Cinco de Mayo celebrations were held on May 4th, one day before Cinco de Mayo since the holiday fell on a Sunday this year.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.

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