Language Day in Colombia

Language Day is a holiday that’s observed annually in Colombia on April 23rd. The date of the holiday is placed on April 23rd to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. During the 1930s, this holiday became institutionalized in Colombia and has been celebrated as an important holiday in that country ever since.

This holiday celebrates the importance of the Spanish language as an internationally used language and recognizes the almost 500 million speakers of this language who live around the world.

The History of Language Day in Colombia

In 1926, Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés was the first to propose the idea of this holiday to celebrate Spanish literature. In fact, in Valencia, the day began to be celebrated as a holiday and then circulated throughout Spain over the next couple of decades.

On October 13, 1946, Language Day was approved in honor of writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra—the author of the first modern novel, Don Quixote. On April 23, 1938, Language Day became an official holiday through President Alfonso Lopez’s Executive Decree 708.

Interesting Facts About Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Let’s parse through some interesting facts about this writer before moving on to how Language Day is celebrated in Colombia.

  • He is the writer of not only Don Quixote but also La Galatea, Rinconete y Cortadillo, and other works.
  • He was the fourth of seven children.
  • Cervantes was sent to prison on two occasions.

Observing Language Day in Colombia

Because Language Day is not an official holiday, schools and businesses remain open on this day. All across Colombia, however, there are events that celebrate this holiday. These can include Spanish-language plays, dedications to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, and other special events.

Where is it celebrated?
Colombia (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 23 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
April 23 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
April 23 Sunday