What is Columbus Day & when is it celebrated?

The Columbus Day is a celebration in the United States of America and also Spain to commemorate and celebrate the day that the famous voyager cum explorer Christopher Columbus landed in America in 1492. This day is celebrated every year on second Monday in May. Columbus Day in 2018 is to fall on October 8.

Columbus Day has been celebrated since the 18th Century. Its first time being celebrated in New York in 1792, in order to mark the 300th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery.

New York was also the first State to commemorate the day decorating ships with flags of both America and Spain and also hosting various parades and other events to mark the day.

This day officially became a holiday only when President Franklin Roosevelt made a declaration regarding it in 1937.  Spain and Italy celebrate this day as ‘Dia de la Raza’ which is translated to be ‘Day of the Race’.

Columbus did something that all other explorers were too afraid to do as traveling to the unknown always has a high risk. The other explorers had gone eastwards in the past but thought traveling to the west would be impossible and dangerous which is why they never even tried to do so.

In 1971, Columbus Day was permanently fixed to the second Monday of October each year which coincide with the Canadian Thanksgiving.

Columbus Day is a celebration for some. But for some, it is a day to honor their cultures and not those of the Europeans that Columbus brought in.

When is Columbus Day 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020?

The following are the dates that this day has fallen and will fall in the future:

YearColumbus Day
2017Monday, 9 October 2017
2018Monday, 8 October 2018
2019Monday, 14 October 2019
2020Monday, 12 October 2020

Who was Christopher Columbus?

Born roughly around 1451 in Italy (previously known as the Republic of Genoa), was an explorer who voyaged and discovered the New World of Americas in 1492 after being sponsored by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain.

His first expedition was in 1476 as he ventured into the Atlantic Ocean and almost got killed. During the ancient times, Europeans believed that the Earth was round but traveled only eastward.

Columbus went west and reached the Bahamas after nearly 36 days at Sea on 12th October 1492. Though it is stated that the Vikings were the first people to arrive in America, it was Columbus whose discovery opened up the routes of Europe to America in the first place opening up possibilities of trade and establishing colonies.

History

Celebrating the arrival of Columbus into America which led to the discovery of the Americas in 1492. Columbus Day was first celebrated in New York City in 1792.

The celebration was carried on unofficially for almost a decade until President Franklin D Roosevelt declared it to be a national holiday in 1937 and in 1971 this day was fixed to be celebrated on the second Monday of October every year.

But like any other discovery, the arrival of Columbus also led to the exploitation of the way of living of the inhabitants of America and also the introduction of many new diseases that America had not faced before.

As many people celebrate this day, many even choose to spend this day in honor of their traditions and cultures.

Traditions

  1. Columbus Day in the US is celebrated with various events and parades where people wear colorful costumes and the day is filled with music and Italian food
  2. San Francisco hosts the oldest parade known as the Columbus Day parade which was started in 1868 by Nicola Larco
  3. In New York City almost 35,000 people join the march of Columbus Day
  4. In Puerto Rico, Columbus Day is a legal holiday
  5. On this day, American and Italian cultures and heritage are too celebrated

Facts related to Columbus Day

  1. Columbus traveled to America in 1492 with 90 men in his crew
  2. Columbus traveled to the New World in Americas a total of three times
  3. President Roosevelt made the holiday official only in 1934
  4. This day is celebrated in many parts of the United States of America but around 22 States do not celebrate it
  5. The most massive Columbus Day parade is held in New York City
  6. Many towns, streets, and buildings are named after Christopher Columbus
  7. The Bahamas celebrate Columbus Day as ‘The Discovery Day.”

Some important FAQs

Q. Is Columbus Day a Federal Holiday or a National one?

A. Columbus Day is actually a Federal holiday in many States of the US, especially in Florida. It is not a national holiday as it is not mandatory for the whole of US to celebrate this day. There are not many national holidays though there are many federal ones.

Q. Is there school on Columbus Day?

A. Since this day is not a national holiday, it is not mandatory for the schools to be closed on Columbus Day. It entirely depends on the district that your school is located. If your school is situated in a state where Columbus Day is a big celebration then the holiday is a sure thing.

Q. What is closed on Columbus Day?

A. This day is observed as a federal holiday, so most of the government offices such as postal services and government banks are closed

Q. Is Columbus Day a bank holiday?

A. Most of the government banks such as Bank of America are on a holiday while some private banks are not.