Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for fifth of May, commemorates the Mexican army's improbable victory over French forces during the Battle of Pueblo on May 5th, 1862. On this day, 4000 Mexican soldiers succeeded in defeating the exceedingly equipped 8000 unit French Army, which had gone undefeated for the past 50 years. The battle took place in Pueblo, 100 miles east of Mexico City.
This regional Mexico holiday is celebrated primarily in the state of Pueblo with limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. Although not a federal holiday in Mexico, it is voluntarily recognized by many. The day is celebrated on a much larger scale around the US and major cities around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. The day is often associated with parades, mariachi music, dancing, margaritas and other types of festive activities.