Cinco de Mayo is a traditional day rooted much deeper in Mexico tradition than eating tacos and drinking margaritas.

In Mexico, May 5 marks the Battle of Puebla, when an under-supplied Mexican force of 2,000 men pitched in against 6,000 French troops during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. Napoleon III led French troops into battle after Mexico imposed a two-year moratorium of loan-interest payments in July 1861 to French, British, and Spanish creditors.

Not expecting to win the campaign, the Mexican army overcame the French in under a day. While the battle didn’t win the war, the victory held great symbolism for Mexico  and inspired the army throughout the conflict. Each year, Mexico commemorates the day with celebrations across the country to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy, though it is not a federal holiday there.

Today in the United States, Americans celebrate Mexican-American heritage and pride annually on May 5th. In 2005 the United States Congress issued a resolution inviting the President of the United States to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

So how is best to observe #CincodeMayo today? Celebrate Mexican heritage, culture, and history. Explore foods and traditions, music, and cinema. Immerse yourself in the language and discover new connections.

Celebrations surrounding the observance in the United States take on a significance beyond that in Mexico. They include displaying of banners and events highlighting Mexican culture, music and dancing, and celebrate Mexican products and services with an emphasis on beverages, food, and music — so with local restaurants again open it’s a perfect day to order that margarita if you so desire!