Although Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) is a day to celebrate the culture, achievements, and experiences of people living in America who have a Mexican background, it is actually a national holiday in Mexico to celebrate the Battle of Puebla. The Mexican army defeated the French army during the second French intervention in Mexico on May 5, 1862. It is not the anniversary of the defeat or the expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans. That occurred in 1867.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico are minor compared to those in the United States. American celebrations entail a huge party day where tequila, Corona, and Mexican food are consumed. It is also not Mexico’s Independence Day. That celebration is held on Sept. 16.
When celebrated in Mexico, military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla, and other festive events take place. But for most Mexicans, it is a typical day. Banks and stores are open as usual.