SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Cinco de Mayo may be a historically Mexican holiday, but nowadays, it is more popularly celebrated in the United States than it is in its country of origin.

Despite that, many Americans don’t know the true history behind Cinco de Mayo or any history surrounding the holiday.

It’s often assumed that Cinco de Mayo (which means the fifth of May) is the same as the American Fourth of July holiday. In fact, this couldn’t be more wrong.

Instead, this holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla which took place on May 5, 1862. The battle was fought between Mexican and French forces, with Mexican forces eventually prevailing over the French.

The battle was part of the Second Franco-Mexican War, which was primarily fought because of Mexico’s financial situation. Mexico had no money, and France — who Mexico owed quite a bit of funds to — was taking advantage of that by attempting to occupy the country.

While Mexican forces did win this battle, they eventually went on to lose the war. The French won and occupied Mexico, though only for a brief period of time. Napoleon III ultimately decided to end the French occupation of Mexico in 1866.

Nowadays, the only state in Mexico that really celebrates Cinco de Mayo is Puebla, where the battle was originally fought.

So why is it popular in the United States?

While it was celebrated as far back as 1862, it really became popular with the rise of the Chicano Movement of the 1940s.

Decades later, companies would promote the holiday in order to sell their alcoholic beverages and it would become solidified as a drinking holiday for the masses in the United States.