Dia de La Raza Day

A day dedicated to when Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492, and translated to “Day of the Race,” Dia de La Raza Day falls on October 12th (or the nearest Monday) every year. It is also referred to as Native American Day and is celebrated throughout the Americas. It recognizes and celebrates the Latin heritage of the Americas.

History of Dia de La Raza Day

It was on August 3rd when Christopher Columbus sailed east from Spain to find a new route to China and to prove the new theory that the Earth was round, not flat. It was on the 12th of October that he landed in America, without knowing where he was at the time.

This event marked the beginning of Spanish colonization of much of Latin America. However, this event is not without controversy. Some believe that it was a positive feat since it connected the East and West, marking a significant day in the history of mankind.

However, others argue that Columbus should not be recognized with a day since the Spanish committed many atrocities in the Americas. After sailing back to Spain, he led a further fleet of 17 ships the next year and discovered more of the Americas.

This was followed by two more trips. The final one was in 1502 when he landed in Costa Rica. He died in 1506 and was dishonored at this point. Many people take issue with the day since he was part of how slavery was brought to the people of the Americas, as well as European diseases.

So, to celebrate the day does not mean to celebrate Columbus, but rather the combination of European and indigenous cultures of the Americas. It is now a multicultural place that has overcome battles, pain, and bitter disagreements to become the vibrant place it is today.

How To Observe Dia de La Raza Day

There are many traditions that people observe to celebrate Dia de La Raza. These include some of the most common aspects of the culture of the Americas, including parades, dances, bullfighting, food, and fiestas around the different countries that celebrate.

The places that observe the day include Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Uruguay. One of the respectful ways of observing the day from afar is by educating yourself on how Columbus found America and the acts that followed.

Much of it is not pleasant, but it can be significant to understand what occurred and how to discuss the day with respect. A popular way of celebrating the rich cultures of South America often includes food. So, why not pick a favorite country and observe the day with some of your favorite dishes?

This, combined with reading more about the meaning behind the day, can help you get closer to the culture. Some special foods include tamales, which are wrapped and cooked with corn, among other ingredients. This is what the day is about for many people: the combination of different cultures in Latin America.

Where is it celebrated?
Guatemala (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 12 Saturday
Next year (2025)
October 12 Sunday
Last year (2023)
October 12 Thursday