|Columbus Day, Dia de la Hispanidad, Spains National Day|
Dia de la Hispanidad
Spains National Day
Fiesta de la HispanidadPlaza de Colón, Madrid
all over Spain every town
Spain celebrates its National Day on 12 October with an impressive military procession in the Plaza de Colón, Madrid.
The day honours the "discovery" of the "New World" by Christopher Columbus, whilst paying tribute to all the Spaniards who have died for their country. As part of the tradition, King Juan Carlos, accompanied by the Royal Family, is presented with a bayleaf laurel by selected veteran soldiers, in a gesture of rememberance. The celebrations end with an air display of low-flying planes over Madrid, that paint the sky with red and yellow stripes - the coloures of the Spanish flag.
Columbus Day is a holiday celebrated in many countries in the Americas, commemorating the date of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Similar holidays, celebrated as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Hispanic Day in Spain, and the newly-renamed (as of 2002) Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela, commemorate the same event.
Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Columbus Day was first celebrated by Italians in San Francisco in 1869, following on the heels of 1866 Italian celebrations in New York City. The first state celebration was in Colorado in 1905, and in 1937, at the behest of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic fraternal service organization named for the voyager), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day as a holiday in the United States. Since 1971, the holiday has been commemorated in the U.S. on the second Monday in October, the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada.
Italian-Americans feel pride in the day due to the fact that Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor, sailed to the Americas. Many royal courts were interested in financing the voyage, but Spain financed the ships for Columbus' brainchild. Some Hispanics are embittered by this victory for Columbus. Banks are always closed on this day, as are government offices
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