Language Day in Colombia

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

This holiday celebrates the importance of the Spanish language as a language used internationally 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 one 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 it would then circulate throughout Spain over the next couple of decades.

On the 13th of October in 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 would become 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’s 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 isn’t 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 (2023)
April 23 Sunday
Next year (2024)
April 23 Tuesday
Last year (2022)
April 23 Saturday