Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) or National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) is an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12. This day is celebrated to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America in 1492. The day is also celebrated as the day of Armed Forces in Spain.
- Columbus set his first foot in America on August 3rd, 1492.
- According to the Julian Calendar, Columbus set sail from the port of Palod de la Frontera in South-West Spain on August 3, 1492. He landed on an island that is now part of the Bahamas in the Caribbean on October 12, 1492.
- The National Day in Spain was known as Hispanic day until 1987, to celebrate the association with the Hispanidad, a community of countries of Hispanic origin.
- It was celebrated by the different countries on different dates.
- An official order was passed in 1987 to name the day as the National Day of Spain as a compromise between the Republicans and Conservatives.
- During the National Day the rich cultural heritage of the country and the strengthening democracy of the country are showcased.
- The day is marked by the hoisting of the National Flag of Spain in Madrid by the king of Spain.
- The King and the prime minister then lead the military parade in the centre of Madrid.
- This is followed by the showcasing of the country’s military prowess.
- Apart from weapons and artillery demonstrations, there is also an air show which showcases the sir power of the nation with the armed forces performing acrobatic manoeuvres in the air and display yellow and red smoke to represent the Spanish flag.
- The celebrations are restricted to the parade ground and otherwise muted.
- The events are broadcast live on Radio, Internet and Television.
- Though a public holiday, the celebrations are muted on the streets.
- People prefer staying home, spending the day relaxing and with family, and watching the live telecast of the military parade on TV.
- Most of the private, all the government organisations and some of the shops remain closed on this day.
- The public transport services run on a reduced schedule and there are no services in the rural area.
- The day has different names in different countries. In Bahamas, it is celebrated as the Discovery Day; in Costa Rica, it is the Day of the Cultures; in Argentine, it is the Day of the Races; while in Chile and Mexico, October 12 is celebrated as the Day of Indigenous Resistance.
Wishing all the natives of Spain Feliz día de independencia. Cheers!!