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Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrations © S Pakhrin
Cinco de Mayo celebrations © S Pakhrin

On every Fifth of May in the state of Puebla, the famous Battle of Puebla is commemorated with traditional music, dancing and festivities. The battle saw an outnumbered Mexican army defeat a larger and better equipped French army on 5 May, 1862. The French invading force, then considered the strongest army in the world, encountered fierce resistance from Mexican defenders at the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe, with 4,500 Mexican troops unexpectedly defeating the 8,000-strong French force. The name 'Cinco de Mayo' is used more by the US, as the Mexicans often call the festival El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla. The battle is still commemorated enthusiastically, mainly with street fiestas and parades, but the epicentre of the festivities is in Puebla.

Venue: Puebla, east of Mexico City

Date: 5 May annually