"Cinco History" at the Website Viva Cinco de Mayo explains today's historical significance.
As Cinco History further explains, American forces supported the Mexican military to win the:The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. [...]
So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.*
[...] Great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War. *
Ongoing collaboration between Mexicans and Americans was evidenced when:
In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. [And] As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America. *
* Source: "Cinco History" at Viva Cinco de Mayo
Another valuable resources is the DVD, Celebrating Cinco De Mayo, which describes how the occasion is celebrated and the principles it represents. This his how an Editorial Review at Amazon.com summarized the DVD's contents:
Parades, traditional foods, colorful crafts, and happy people are the trademarks of elebrating Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo presents a wonderful opportunity each year for two neighboring countries—the United States and Mexico-- to acknowledge and re-affirm their friendship. The holiday glorifies freedom and liberty, ideas that are cherished by citizens of both North American democracies.
- Click here to access the source
Googling "Cinco de Mayo" provides additional sources of historical information, as well as recipes, events and celebration suggestions.
Cinco de Mayo, like other holidays, is subject to crass commercialization.
Googling "Cinco de Mayo" also reveals advertisements and infomercials from various purveyors of goods and services. For an example, access this VivaCincadeMayo.com link. I was once a major culprit. In the early 1990s, I worked with the team that introduced Taco Bell products to grocery stores. Taco Bell Corporation, now a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. but then a PepsiCo division, collaborated with its corporate partners to roll out the grocery product line coincidentally with Cinco de Mayo. That timing leveraged the larger buzz surrounding Cinco de Mayo and many things Mexican in the US and many things American in Mexico. (Aside: Americans view Taco Bell food as Mexican or Tex-Mex; Mexicans view it as American.)
Speaking of commercialization, May 5 is a Super Bonza Bottler Day.
Bonza Bottler Days occur whenever the day and month coincide, such as July 7, August 8 and September 9. Super Bonza Bottler Days fall on popularly recognized holidays or when a day, month and year coincide (e.g., January 1, 2001, February 2, 2002 and Cinco de Mayo last year: May 5, 2005). Thanks to the numerous holidays and observances throughout the world and proliferation of special-interest observances (such as Doing Business in Your Bathrobe Day sponsored by Webmomz to recognize "the hard work and dedication it takes to be an entrepreneur" and to promote the Webmomz organization), Super Bonza Bottler Days occur almost monthly. Examples of Super Bonza Bottler Days that fall on U.S. holidays include January 1 (New Year's Day), February 2 (Groundhog Day), April 4 (International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance), May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), June 6 (Teachers Day and National Yo-Yo Day) and November 11 (Veteran's Day).
Bonza Bottler Days were created by some brilliant promoter to provide monthly excuses to celebrate and to generate marketing campaigns. Although it is unclear who originated the occasion, its terms are readily traceable. "Bonza" and its synonym "bonzer," are popularly used in Australia, and likely derive from the word "bonanza." Bonza and bonzer are defined in the Urban [slang] Dictionary as "brilliant," "well executed," "excellent," "great" and in The Free [online] Dictionary as "remarkable or wonderful," "extraordinary." The word "bottler" likely derives from the Australian term "bottle shop," or its diminutive forms "bottlo – (pronounced bottle oh)" or "bottl-o," defined in Australian words: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as "a shop selling alcoholic drinks (for external consumption)," i.e., for consumption off the premises. For marketers, event promoters, and purveyors of food and drink, Bonza Bottler Days are, well, bonzer!
Bonza Bottler Days can be used for good as well as greed. Marketers and non-marketers alike could use these regular reminders to pamper significant others, make and assess progress toward annual resolutions, and do good deeds.###