12th october: Colombus Day

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus‘s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492 (Julian Calendar; it would have been October 21, 1492 on the Gregorian Proleptic Calendar, which extends the Gregorian Calendar to dates prior to its adoption in 1582). Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer on behalf of Spain, who set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a faster route to the Far East only to land at the New World. His first voyage to the New World on the Spanish ships Santa María, Niña, and La Pinta took approximately three months. Columbus and his crew’s arrival to the New World initiated the Columbian Exchange which introduced the transfer of plants, animals, culture, human populations, and technology between the New World and the Old World.

The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States but the name varies on the international spectrum. In some Latin American countries, October 12 is known as Día de la Raza or (Day of the Race). This is the case for Mexico, which inspired Jose Vasconcelos’s book celebrating the Day of the Iberoamerican Race. Some countries such as Spain refer the holiday as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional de España where it is also the religious festivity of la Virgen del Pilar. Since 2009, Peru has celebrated Día de los pueblos originarios y el diálogo intercultural (Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Dialogue Day) Belize and Uruguay celebrate it as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas). Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo is the formal name of Italy‘s celebration as well as in Little Italys around the world.

4 thoughts on “12th october: Colombus Day

  1. “Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer on behalf of Spain”

    Newest science comes to the conclusion he was indeed Portuguese.

    Best example are names he gave to Carribean islands. Cuba was a village in Portugal close to where he was born (and the only place in the world with that name). Various other Carribean islands he named after villages and places in Portugal, too. And there is more evidence …

  2. He didn’t even speak Italian. The only thing he ever wrote in Italian he copied off an Italian poetry book.
    All evidence shows him as a Portuguese jew.

  3. Actually, a quick note that here in the United States, the day is increasingly celebrated as Indigenous People’s Day as well. Columbus has become quite a controversial figure over here.

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