Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. The French army, better-equipped and far larger than the Mexican army, had been sent by Napoleon III to conquer Mexico. The Mexicans, under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the French at Puebla, inflicting serious losses. The French withdrew to the coast but returned the next year to take Puebla; they would control most of Mexico for the next four years. Cinco de Mayo celebrations often include music, dancing, and parades.