(National Day of Spain)
A national holiday and held annually on October 12.
This date commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492. It is also known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Día de la Raza in various Latin American countries. Celebration of the anniversary dates back to 1935 in Spain, when the first festival was held in Madrid. Back then, the holiday was known as Día de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain’s connection to Hispanidad, the international Hispanic community.
Several changes were made to the name and date, one of which was by royal decree on November 27, 1981 to establish Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday. Then on October 7, 1987 the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional.
Since 2000, October 12 has also been Spain’s Day of the Armed Forces, celebrated each year with a military parade only in Madrid. This is generally overshadowed by the feast of Our Lady of Pilar, whose feast day falls also on October 12.