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Is Cinco de Mayo a Holiday?

April 8, 2015

While Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is a day set aside for celebrating the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, it's not a national holiday in either the United States or Mexico. The Battle of Puebla came in 1861 after the French, refusing to negotiate new debt terms with Mexico, decided to expand their global influence in Latin America and invaded Mexico at Veracruz. After taking Veracruz, they pushed toward Mexico City. When they encountered the Mexican army near the town of Puebla, the French received strong resistance and were defeated. The defeat of the French at Puebla by an outnumbered and under-equipped Mexican army was a great symbolic victory and a source of pride for the Mexican people.

Cinco de Mayo is commonly celebrated in public events that highlight Mexican heritage in music, dancing, and food. However, celebration of Cinco de Mayo is not just limited to the United States and Mexico. Events are held as far away as Australia, Japan, England, and ironically, France.

Need a list of all federal holidays in the US? Our federal holiday calendar is just one of the many employer resources available to help business owners better manage their employee time and attendance.

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