Why Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Millions of Americans are celebrating a Mexican holiday Monday.

One of the main misconceptions about the holiday is that many Americans think today is the Mexican Independence Day, which isn’t the case.

“It is actually victory, a symbolic victory for the Mexicans when over 6,000 French invaded and it was the battle of Puebla,” says Tres Hombres Mexican Grill and Cantina owner Don Bostrom.

The Mexican Independence day was on September 16, 1810.

Cinco de Mayo is actually the day that the French Napoleon III wanted to take advantage of the opportunity in Mexico after the British and Spanish troops withdrew from Mexico.

Mexico was known to fall short on debts at the time. The French decided to collect that debt from Mexico and tried to invade the city of Puebla.

General Charles de Lorencez led the French movement after he was told the citizens of Puebla were nice and a show of force would let the French forces over take the city.

An army of nearly 4,500 Mexican soldiers were out numbered but able to save the city of Puebla on the 5th of May.

Ironically, the Mexican holiday has become more of an American holiday than Mexican.

“It allows people to come out and try Mexican food and drinks. Much of which we have been able to develop new techniques on, like gluten free food,” said Bostrom.

The owner also wants his customers to be safe.

“If they need a taxi or tipsy towing we will take care of that. Come on in and we will make sure they are taken care of. No one is going to drive out of here dangerously.”

AAA is offering their tipsy tow service from 6 p.m. on May 5th through 6 a.m. May 6th for any drivers in the state of Utah who may be too impaired to drive. The company offers a free tow home within 10 miles. All you need to do is call 800.222.4357 and tell the AAA operator, “I need a tipsy tow.”

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