A lot of people who speak a little Spanish might take notice on May Fifth. Isn't that Cinco de Mayo? That's about the extent of their knowledge.
But why is it so famous, and how do most Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate it? The day actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican people finally defeated the French forces which had been attempting to take control of the entire country. Though Mexico had been independent from Spain for decades, it wasn't until this moment that the nation had complete self-rule.
What is the traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration? Well, in addition to parades, eating Chicken Mole Poblano is a common activity. According to legend, two poor nuns with very little food prepared what little they had for a visitor. Grinding up chili peppers, chocolate, nuts and simmering it with chicken, Chicken Mole Poblano was created. It is now a staple of Mexican parties and celebrations.
Other traditional Mexican foods like tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas are commonly served by Mexican-Americans throughout the U.S. on Cinco de Mayo.
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