- Title: MEXICO: Mexicans take part in Cinco de Mayo festival in Mexico City
- Date: 8th May 2008
- Summary: (L!1) MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (MAY 05, 2008) (REUTERS) VARIOUS PEOPLE PLAYING MEXICAN SOLDIERS
- Embargoed: 23rd May 2008 13:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: History
- Reuters ID: LVAEPC82QL074KMEIXL07SG7J22H
- Story Text: Hundreds of residents in a small neighbourhood - located west of Mexico City - re-enacted the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on (May 05).
In PeÃ±on de los BaÃ±os, residents organize a popular representation of the battle of Puebla, a tradition which has been kept alive each year for 78 years.
The re-enactment is also intended to unite residents from the neighbourhood, who have been feuding.
Funds are raised with the help from the local government and collections by residents.
Some play the Mexican army - and dress up in elaborate outfits, while others play the French invaders. They fight with real gun powder rifles and load shots are heard in the sky.
They do so to pay tribute to the heroes, soldiers and men that gave their lives for their country.
"I've been taking part in this battle annually for 25 years. I usually played a Zacapoaxtla (Mexican soldier), but for the last three years, I've been playing a French invader," said participant, Francisco Javier Medina.
This person playing a Mexican soldier was caught by a French invader during the representation and his hair was cut in punishment for having been caught.
Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla that took place on May 5, 1862 when Mexican forces overcame Napoleon Bonaparte's French army. It represents a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.
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