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Battle of Puebla in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the 5th of May, celebrates the defeat of the French army during the Battle of Puebla (Batalla de Puebla) in Mexico on May 5, 1862. It is not to be confused with the country's Independence Day.

Carnival in puebla mexico
Celebrations in the city of Puebla, where Cinco de Mayo is a holiday.
Celebrations in the city of Puebla, where Cinco de Mayo is a holiday.
©iStockphoto.com/dyana_by

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is mainly observed in the Mexican state of Puebla, where parades with people dressed in costumes are held to celebrate the day. Reenactments of the Battle of Puebla also take place in other parts of Mexico, including Peñón de los Baños in Mexico City, where the day is celebrated by people originally from Puebla.

Public Life

Cinco de Mayo is a government and school holiday in Mexico, so government offices and many schools are closed. It is also a regional holiday in the states of Puebla and Veracruz.

About Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the anniversary of the defeat and expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans, which occurred in 1867. The battle in Puebla did, however, lift the confidence of the Mexican army and people. It helped boost national unity at the time.

Did You Know?

Cinco de Mayo celebrations are very popular in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States.

Battle of Puebla Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
WedMay 52010Battle of PueblaObservance
ThuMay 52011Battle of PueblaObservance
SatMay 52012Battle of PueblaObservance
SunMay 52013Battle of PueblaObservance
MonMay 52014Battle of PueblaObservance
TueMay 52015Battle of PueblaObservance
ThuMay 52016Battle of PueblaObservance
FriMay 52017Battle of PueblaObservance
SatMay 52018Battle of PueblaObservance
SunMay 52019Battle of PueblaObservance
TueMay 52020Battle of PueblaObservance

Quick Facts

Cinco de Mayo is an annual government and school holiday dedicated to the Mexican army’s victory of the Battle of Puebla.

Battle of Puebla 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Battle of Puebla 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Battle of PueblaEnglish
Batalla de PueblaSpanish
Schlacht bei PueblaGerman

Alternative name

Cinco de Mayo

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2016 in Mexico

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