Hispanic Day – also known as the National Day of Spain or Fiesta Nacional de España – is a holiday that’s observed annually every October 12th. In Spain, this day is a national holiday and it commemorates the Spanish legacy in the world – especially in the Americas.
It’s a day that honors the history of Spain and recognizes the achievements the country has made throughout the world. It also celebrates the plurality of Spanish culture and language beyond the borders of Europe.
The History Of Hispanic Day
Hispanic Day is a holiday that commemorates the date when Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Columbus was trying to find a western route to India but instead ended up in the Americas. He landed on an island in the Bahamas and named it San Salvador.
His arrival in the Americas would lead to colonization of them by Spanish and other European powers from the 15th century on. In 1978, the Spanish Constitution was approved and three years later, in 1981, the national holiday was renamed “Fiesta Nacional de España y Día de la Hispanidad.”
Although the holiday moved around several times, it was eventually placed on the day when America was discovered by Spain. On October 7, 1987, a decision was made to remove the Hispanidad portion of the holiday’s name and change it to Fiesta Nacional instead.
The removal of this portion of the name isn’t intended to ignore the ties that Spain has with Hispanic America, it does try to avoid the controversy that might arise from the perceived conquest and rule of the Americas by Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Fun Facts About Spain
Since Hispanic Day is a public holiday in Spain, we thought it might be fun to also list some fun, if not random, facts about Spain. Although the following facts have little to do with this holiday, they still provide everyone reading a quick picture of Spain and its culture.
- Spain is the second-largest country in Europe after France. It’s approximately 506,000 square kilometers.
- Spain has the fifth largest population in Europe.
- By 2050, Spain is expected to have one of the oldest populations in the world.
- Spain is a constitutional monarchy.
- Spain contains 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- The La Tomatina festival is held every August.
- Some of the greatest artists in the world have come from Spain.
Observing Hispanic Day
This holiday is celebrated in Spain in numerous ways. In different parts of Spain, tribute is paid to the National flag and that’s accompanied by various ceremonies. The main ceremony and flag tribute is held in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and this ceremony features parades from the Armed Forces of the country.
Civil tributes are held all across Spain as well, and the size and intensity of the celebrations vary from place to place. People from around the world who want to join in on the celebrations and voice their support for this holiday can do so by using the hashtags #HispanicDay or # NacionalDeEspana on their social media accounts.