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It was an unlikely victory when the Mexicans defeated the French army in 1862. The event is celebrated on 5 May each year in Puebla, a lovely colonial city in the shadow of the Popocatépetl volcano, a 2-hour drive from Mexico City. Tens of thousands of residents participate in the spectacular parade; Mariachi bands play in the streets and there is dancing and fireworks. The festival draws over a million visitors every year.
On 5 May 1862, a military miracle happened in the mountains near Puebla: a small, untrained Mexican brigade led by General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated the powerful French army of Emperor Napoleon III. A wave of pride washed over Mexico and President Benito Juarez, who declared 5 May (Cinco de Mayo) a national holiday. In Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza (the honorary title bestowed upon the city), the historic event is lavishly celebrated every year.
“The city celebrates with mariachis, tacos and margaritas before and after 5 May as well”