Cinco de Mayo is a popular celebration in Mexico and the United States. The custom of celebrating on May 5 originated in 1862 and commemorates the battle between Mexico and the French in Puebla.
This battle was a result of a severe economic crisis in Mexico in which then-president Benito Jaurez stopped the payment of an external debt in an effort to heal his country's dwindling financial resources. After numerous diplomatic attempts by Spain, England and France and the failure to resolve the issue, French leader Napoleon III attempted to take control of Mexico. This resulted in the defeat of the French forces and led to the yearly celebration known as Cinco de Mayo.