Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo is at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:30pm. $25
Get tickets at ticketmaster.com
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, but it did play an important role in American history.
The day is also important to many Mexican New Yorkers because people from the region of Puebla are one of the biggest groups of New Yorkers with a Mexican heritage.
Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo
In the 1860s, France planned to capture Mexico’s economy and create a base from which to restore French power in the Americas. They planned to join the U.S. Civil War on the Confederate side (the slaving South). If they were successful, our history might be completely different.
At the time, the French army was the most powerful in the world. They were the U.S. Marines of their day.
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. Veracruz is the Mexican gateway to the Caribbean. Puebla is a town on the road from Veracruz to Mexico City.
In May 1862, the U.S. Civil War was still a toss-up. There was no clear winner.
On the fifth of May 1862, a small Mexican force defeated the great French army in the Battle of Puebla. This surprise forced the French to retreat and regroup. This delayed their advance on Mexico City.
By the time the French were able to take Mexico, Union forces had gathered strength and begun the long defeat of the Southern forces. It was too late for the French to join the war.
So Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) commemorates the Battle of Puebla. It celebrates the fact that on this day, against all odds, a small group of devoted Mexican defenders defeated the most powerful army in the world.
Many Americans of the United States think Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day. It is not, but it is a day that we should all celebrate together.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated in Puebla. In the United States it has become a national celebration of Mexican-American culture. It’s the busiest day at Mexican restaurants across the country.
So go celebrate and now you know what you are celebrating.
Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo at Count Basie Center
Monday, May 6 at 7:30pm. $25
Tickets are available at the door and online at ticketmaster.com
Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo at Queens Theatre
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm
Sunday, April 14 at 2pm
Tickets start at $20
Tickets are available at the door and online at queenstheatre.org
14 United Nations Ave S, Corona, NY 11368
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens