(NEWSnet/AP) — United States is preparing for Cinco de Mayo. Music, happy hours and food deals are planned for Sunday at venues throughout the nation.

It’s a celebration with widely misunderstood origins, scarcely observed south of the border.

In the U.S., the date is considered a celebration of Mexican American culture dating to 1800s California. Typical festivities include parades, block parties, mariachi competitions and folkloric dance.

Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the 1862 victory by Mexican troops over invading French forces at the Battle of Puebla.

Re-enactments are held annually in the central Mexico city of Puebla 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 issued Sept. 16, 1810, by the Rev. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.

Communities throughout the U.S., especially in areas with a significant Mexican American population, hold gatherings this weekend.

In California, San Jose will hold a festival featuring live music, dancers and low-rider cars. San Francisco will hold an event at District Six.

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

New Orleans has celebrations during the weekend at Fat City Park, with a taco-eating contest and live music by eight bands.

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