October 12th marks a day when the world changed forever. On this day in 1492, Cristobal Colón (Christopher Columbus) and his expedition team discovered America after arriving to the Bahamas archipelago.
More than 400 years later, October 12th is celebrated as a holiday in Spain and many Latin American countries on which it’s known as “Hispanic Day”. Or in Spain it is also known as “Fiesta Nacional de España”.
What’s it all about?
The date represents the beginning of Spanish Kingdoms uniting in one single monarchy. It was the start of linguistic expansion concerning the Spanish language, beyond European borders.
In Spain there are not many events to celebrate it, but there’s one traditional meeting involving all of the main political leaders, the Royal Family and other citizens. The event is the Military Parade. It takes place in the center of Madrid and it involves more than 3,500 soldiers from all the brigades and divisions of the Spanish Armed Forces taking a march through the city in their distinctive uniforms.
This year the parade will include more than 100 vehicles from the Spanish fleet, and 76 aircrafts such as helicopters and fighter planes. It is sure to be a spectacle and if you’re not in Madrid, you can watch the events on the TV.
Also October 12th is the day of the “Día del Pilar”, the Patron of the Spanish Nation and the “Guardia Civil”, one of the “Security Corps” of the country. So, this is a double reason why October 12th is a patriotic day here in Spain!
In Latin America, this national holiday became popular at the beginning of the 20th Century, however it was celebrated under different names! In Argentina it’s known as “Cultural Diversity Day”, in Belize and Uruguay it’s called “Day of the Americas”, in Nicaragua it is known as “Day of the Two Worlds’ Meeting” and for other nations it is called “Indigenous Resistance Day”.
So, wherever you are in the hispanic speaking world, this day has a significance which now you know more about!
For more information on local holidays, check out our Blog.