Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on May 5. Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [sɪŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Mexico, Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration held on May 5. Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army's May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo, holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. Cinco de Mayo, which isn't widely celebrated in Mexico, commemorates an underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Behind modern Cinco de Mayo celebrations is the 1862 Battle of Puebla, a Mexican triumph over French colonial forces.