The traditional festival of Cinco de Mayo or Fifth of May, takes place every year on May 5, as the name suggests. It's a common belief that one Cinco de Mayo, people celebrate the Independence Day of Mexico. However, it is not true. Instead, a single battle is commemorated.

In 1861, Benito Juarez, a lawyer and member of the Zapotec tribe indigenous was chosen to become the Mexican president. At the moment, after years of domestic unrest, the world was in financial crisis and the new chair was forced to default on European governments' debt payments. France, Britain, and Spain, in reaction, sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, for refund. England and Spain met and withdrawn forces with Mexico.

On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza was in commemoration of the triumph of the Mexican Army over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. Mexicans were encouraged by the triumph of their smaller forces against a greater French army. After months of fighting, Zaragoza died of sickness. In the second battle of Puebla, which happened a year after the first one, a stronger French force routed the Mexican army, and the invaders quickly captured Mexico City.

Revelers cruise through neighborhoods in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. (Getty)

Cinco de Mayo 2021: Is 5 de mayo an American holiday?

The date has been synonymous with the celebration of Mexican-American culture, and it's celebrated more in the US than in Mexico. These festivities have been happening in California since 1863. Cinco de Mayo is commonly understood as a festival of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States, particularly in regions with a significant Mexican-American population.

Due to their identity with the triumph of the Indigenous people (such as Juárez) during the Battle of Puebla, Chicano activists raised holidays awakening in the 1960s. The day is marked today by festivals, parades, mariachi, Mexican street dances, traditional cuisines such as tacos and mole poblano. In Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston, some of the biggest festivals are held.

As a result of particularly promotional campaigns by beer and wine firms, the day has become nationally more famous in the 1980s.  Today, Cinco de Mayo produces Super Bowl-like sales of beer. In Mexico, the war commemoration is now mostly ceremonial, for example by military parades or re-enactments.