(Nieuwsnet/AP) — The United States is preparing for Cinco de Mayo. Music, happy hours and food deals are scheduled for Sunday at locations across the country.

It is a festival with a widely misunderstood origin, which is hardly celebrated south of the border.

In the US, the date is considered a celebration of Mexican-American culture dating back to 19th century California. Typical festivities include parades, block parties, mariachi competitions and folkloric dancing.

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of Mexican forces’ victory over invading French forces in the 1862 Battle of Puebla.

Reenactments are held annually in the city of Puebla in central Mexico to commemorate the victory.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. Mexicans celebrate their liberation from Spain on the anniversary of the call to arms on September 16, 1810 by Rev. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.

Communities across the U.S., especially in areas with significant Mexican American populations, are holding gatherings this weekend.

In California, San Jose hosts a festival with live music, dancers and low-rider cars. San Francisco is holding an event in District Six.

An outdoor market in El Paso, Texas, featuring a car show, vendors and live music from Krystall Poppin, Ka$h Go Crazy and 2 Sexy Ashley.

New Orleans is celebrating this weekend at Fat City Park, with a taco eating contest and live music from eight bands.

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