The Reason Cinco de Mayo is a Cause For Celebration

Cinco de Mayo is a day set aside for celebrations, great food, and of course, tequila! Our Lake of the Ozarks Mexican restaurant excitedly looks forward to the 5th of May each year, as do all of our wonderful patrons. Do you actually know how Cinco de Mayo came to be a holiday? Your friends at Mexicali Blues in Osage Beach have the story for you in today's blog. 

NOT Mexican Independence Day
Many mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, but that holiday is actually on September 16. The events that established their Independence Day happened about 50 years before Mexico's victory at the Battle of Puebla, which is the cause for celebration on Cinco de Mayo. They may not have won the war, but winning this battle in 1862 gave Mexican citizens a sense of unity and the hope and inspiration that they needed to keep fighting. 

Battle of Puebla
Due to the previous wars that Mexico had been involved in, the country's treasury was nearly bankrupt in 1861. This caused Mexican President Benito Juarez to declare a moratorium in which the repayment of all foreign debts would be suspended for 2 years. 

The countries that Mexico owed money to were not happy about this. The new declaration caused troops from Britain, Spain, and France to invade Mexico. By April 1862, negotiations with Spain and Britain convinced them to withdraw their troops. France, under the direction of Napoleon III, instead saw it as an opportunity to establish a monarchy and continued the fight. 

Mexico was greatly outnumbered by the French forces. On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza commanded a group of about 4,000 poorly equipped troops against France's troops of 6,000! (Or possibly 8,000. We found both numbers in our research. Either way, too many!) In an amazing twist of events, Mexico actually defeated France in this Battle of Puebla! 

While the fighting continued in Mexico and the French were not driven out for many more years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. This gave everyone in the country a much-needed morale boost and a sense of national unity and patriotism.     

France Finally Leaves 
A year after the Battle of Puebla, 30,000 French troops defeated the Mexican army, capturing Mexico City and installing Emperor Maximilian I as the new ruler of Mexico. The United States had not come to Mexico's aid during this war due to the fact that it was in the middle of its own war - the Civil War, to be exact. In 1865, after the Civil War ended, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico in an effort to help them expel the French. 

Napoleon III began the retreat from Mexico starting in 1866 due to these new pressures. On June 5, 1867, Benito Juarez finally came back to Mexico City to install a new government and reorganize his administration. 

Let's Celebrate!
While we don't reside in the country where all of this happened, our Mexican restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks does celebrate this momentous occasion every year with the best Cinco de Mayo party in the lake area! All day long on Saturday, May 5, 2018, we will be featuring incredible food, drink, and shot specials in honor of this holiday. 

From 6:30-9:30 pm we'll have live music from the band "Cuz I Said So." Feel free to hang out with us for lunch, dinner, and everything in between, but definitely make your way over here in the evening for the incredible Party On The Patio! Invite all of your friends, and be sure to wear your dancing shoes! The Cinco de Mayo celebration at Mexicali Blues is a celebration you do not want to miss.
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6605 HWY 54
Osage Beach, MO 65065


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