Spain marks Día de la Hispanidad
Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) or National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) is an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12. It commemorates when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.
According to the Julian calendar, Christopher Columbus set sail from the port of Palos de la Frontera in Southwest Spain on August 3, 1492. He landed on an island that is now part of the Bahamas in the Caribbean on October 12, 1492.
Events similar to Hispanic Day to mark the anniversary of the date Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas are also held in other countries. October 12 is known as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Day of the Cultures in Costa Rica, Day of the Race in Argentina, Chile and Mexico and the Day of Indigenous Resistance in Venezuela. The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States.
The king of Spain supervises the raising of the Spanish national flag in the center of Madrid on Hispanic Day. He and the prime minister lead a military parade after that. The parade includes representatives from most of Spain’s military units and various military vehicles. Armed forces’ planes perform aerobatics above the parade route and display yellow and red smoke to represent the Spanish flag. Radio, television and Internet news services broadcast live on these events.
Hispanic Day is a day off work and an opportunity to spend time quietly at home or in the company of family members and close friends. People in the Aragon region in the northeast of Spain also commemorate Our Lady of the Pillar, their patron saint, on October 12.
Public life is generally quiet and many businesses and other organizations are closed. Many stores are closed but some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule, although there may be no services in rural areas.