Day Of Respect For Cultural Diversity

Formerly known as Dia de la Raza, the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity is a holiday observed in Argentina on the second Monday of October, coinciding with Columbus Day, which is observed in many other countries around the world.

This holiday marks the day when Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas and made contact with Native Americans in 1492. This day has been celebrated for over 104 years and is a day of celebration for some and a day of mourning for others, depending on their view of European exploration of the Americas.

The History of the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity

When Christopher Columbus first set sail, he intended to find a western sea route from Europe to China, India, and the spice islands of Asia. Instead, he landed in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492.

He became the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings had established colonies in Newfoundland and Greenland during the 10th century. He then sighted Cuba and believed it might be the mainland of China later that October.

Two months later, he discovered Hispaniola and immediately thought it might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas. In March of 1493, he returned to Spain with spices, gold, and Native American slaves he called Indians.

It was not until his third journey that he realized he had not reached Asia but had instead discovered a previously unknown continent. In 1917, Argentina established the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity around the day Columbus first arrived in the Bahamas—an event that would lead to European colonization of the Americas, forever changing them and forging the countries that exist today.

Observing the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity

On this day, many Argentinians have the day off to remember the history of their country. There are also parades and other special events that honor Argentina’s rich heritage.

Where is it celebrated?
Argentina (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 14 Monday
Next year (2025)
October 13 Monday
Last year (2023)
October 9 Monday