This annual celebration commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862.

The battle took place as the French attempted to carve out a new empire in Mexican territory,

 which helped to slow down the invading force’s advance to Mexico City.

The incident saw the French lose more than 500 soldiers, with the Mexican force losing less than 100 men.

The battle took place under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza and saw a smaller Mexican force succeed against a larger French force.

 General Zaragoza died months after the battle due to illness.

A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated the Mexican army at the Second Battle of Puebla

In addition to its importance in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is significant to many Americans

In fact, the United States celebrates Cinco de Mayo on a much larger scale than Mexico