This day in Mexican history signifies the day that Mexican soldiers victoriously, and bravely defeated the out numbered, organized, and well armed French Army, referred to as the "Battle of Pueblo" in 1862. The French were marching towards the Capitol of Mexico City to force the government/ country into paying up the debts owed to them. Because of Mexico's own civil war that raged on for a few years prior, It had left the country with a poor economy, and in debt to the British, French, and Spanish. The European countries were very angry with Mexico, banded together, and all 3 countries were ready to invade, and arrived on the coast of Veracruz in 1861. In a desperate situation, President Benito Pablo Juarez, tried his hardest to plead his case to the countries by telling them that a war would simply serve no purpose, and would devastate the economy in Mexico even further. The Spanish and British gave up, however, the French were intent on a war, and stayed to fight! Although the Mexicans gained a noble victory over the French at the "Battle of Pueblo", the French were relentless sending even more troops over for battle, and eventually gained control of the Mexican government, which lasted until 1867. President Juarez, was able to pull enough soldiers together for an "uprising", and eventually defeated the French, and restored their government. For the Mexican people, that one victory over the French meant a great deal of pride, and gave them hope during a time when they very much needed it.
Now that you understand what "Cinco de Mayo" is all about, it may give more meaning to any "fiestas", or special Mexican dishes, or celebrating of Mexican culture you may have had planned for today!
***As a side note: The legendary Mole Poblano, is known to have originated in this famous mountainside city of Pueblo! Mole is a very rich sauce, (traditionally served over turkey or chicken), that consists of MANY ingredients including: seeds, chilis, varying spices, nuts, tomatoes, onion, garlic, bread, and some Ibarra chocolate.