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Cinco de Mayo, Puebla, Mexico

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is often mislabeled as Mexico's Independence Day (mostly by U.S. distributors of tequila and margarita mix). The date instead marks the day of May 5, 1862, when, marching from Veracruz to Mexico City, the well-outfitted French army encountered a much smaller Mexican militia and was soundly defeated. (The Mexican victory was short-lived; a year later, France invaded again and ruled the country for three years.)

Predictably, the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Mexico is here in Puebla. The biggest event of the day is a full-blown military parade that lasts for hours and winds through the city. Never far from the celebrations are the thousands of food stands selling festival treats, including Poblano favorites.