Celebrate Spain’s National Day on Wednesday October 12

Celebrate Spain's National Day on Wednesday October 12

Celebrate Spain's National Day on Wednesday October 12. Image: Marcos del Mazo/Shutterstock.com

Businesses and schools close in order to join in the celebrations for Spain’s National Day on Wednesday, October 12.

Spain’s National Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas and is also sometimes known as Dia de la Hispanidad (Hispanic Day), according to Enforex.

Italian-born Christopher Columbus set off from Palos de la Frontera in southwest Spain in 1492 on August 3. Just over two months later he arrived in the “New World.”

Columbus, who was sponsored by the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, was actually looking for a western route to India but instead stumbled upon the Americas, a continent that had been largely unknown to Europeans. The discovery led to a period of rapid exploration of the continent.

Dia de la Hispanidad was first celebrated in Madrid in 1935 and was made an official public holiday in 1981. In 1987, its name was changed to Fiesta Nacional (Spain’s National Day), removing any reference to Spanish colonialism.

Spain’s national holiday coincides with the country’s Armed Forces Day and the military plays a significant part in the day’s celebrations. The main events on October 12 take place in Madrid, but regional capitals around the country also hold events to mark the day.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.