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Mexicans remember the Battle of Puebla every year on May 5th.

The 5 de Mayo marks the defeat of the French army in the Mexican city of Puebla in 1862.

Celebrated widely by Mexicans in the United States, the day is not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico, but voluntary.

It is celebrated more widely in the Puebla region of Mexico, but military ceremonies also take place across the country.

They remember when French forces were in Mexico trying to force payment of an alleged debt in 1861. The French marched towards the interior in an attempt to take over and occupy the country.

The 6000-strong East Mexican Army, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, managed to defeat the larger and better equipped French army in the Battle of Puebla, a significant and celebrated military accomplishment.

Unfortunately for the Mexicans, the French still managed to defeat them a year later and made Maximilian I, 'Emperor' of Mexico.

The French were finally beaten and thrown out of Mexico in 1867. 'Emperor' Maximilian was executed by Mexican President Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.

For more Mexican history read about Independence Day and Revolution Day.