Cinco de Mayo is a popular holiday in the United States. In fact, it is more popular here than in Mexico! It is not Mexico's Independence Day, which is September 16. It celebrates Mexico's victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. France invaded Mexico because the country owed debts to European countries. Mexico was able to claim an unlikely victory over the French army at Puebla. It is said that Chicano activists in the United States drew attention to the holiday in the 1960s because of its anti-imperialist roots. It became popular when food and drink companies capitalized upon the holiday to sell their products. Today the holiday mostly serves to celebrate Mexican culture with food, drink, music, dance, and parties.