The fifth of May or better known as Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the day the Mexican army beat the France in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla during the 6 year Franco-Mexican War.
Cinco de. Ahora has become popularly associated with Mexican heritage but that is NOT what Cinco de Mayo is. Cinco de Mayo was meant to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Puebla. The parties involved were Mexico, France, Britain, and Spain
Benito Juarez(pictured above) was the leader of Mexico during the war. He came to power in 1861 and Mexico was in massive debt to more than 2 powerful countries. As a result those countries sent naval forces to Mexico and Juarez gathered a group of 2,000 loyal men to fight 6,000 French troops.
Ignacio Zaragoza led the troops in battle and the French retreated when they had lost over 500 men and fewer than a 100 Mexicans were killed. This battle happened because the Mexicans were in debt with Britain, France, and Spain and these countries decided to take their money by force but were unsuccessful.
Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in Ouebla where the battle took place. The celebrations primarily include military parades, recreations of the battle, and other festive events. It's not a federal holiday so banks and other stores are open. Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in Mexican American heavy areas in the US. They mark the occasion with parties, mariachi music, dancing, and traditional foods.