In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is a day of festivals

On the fifth of May, many people in Mexico and the United States celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The date commemorates Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla.

On May 5, 1862, despite facing a larger and better equipped French force, the Mexican Army prevailed, providing an important boost in morale to the Mexicans in the ongoing fight. While Mexico celebrates its Independence Day in September, the day of the Battle of Puebla is commemorated in some places.

In the United States, home to more than 30 million Mexican Americans, Cinco de Mayo has taken on new meaning. It is a festival of Latino culture. In cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Washington, Cinco de Mayo events are held each year. Americans eat and drink traditional Mexican fare. Here is a glimpse of the cultural pride on display during recent years:

Dancers performing near the Washington Monument (© AP Images)
Members of the Maru Montero Dance Company perform at the Sylvan Theater near the Washington Monument. (© AP Images)
Boy wearing mariachi costume (© AP Images)
Dressed in a mariachi costume, Jermaine Brooks, 4, of New York, holds onto his sombrero as he waits to participate in the parade down Central Park West. (© AP Images)
Close-up of guitarist in a mariachi band performing in a restaurant (© AP Images)
A mariachi band plays at a Cinco de Mayo party in Addison, Texas. (© AP Images)
Three young girls in dancing costumes (© AP Images)
Melody Hernandez, 5, left, Brianna Horsey, 6, and Arianna Romero, 7, of the Maru Montero Dance Company wait to go on stage to perform a Mexican folk dance in Washington. (© AP Images)