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Spain: National Day

Spain celebrates its national day (Fiesta Nacional) on 12 October.

The event commemorated must surely be one of the more unusual causes for a national celebration, all the more so as it marks an act performed thousands of miles away from Spain, by someone who wasn’t even Spanish! We’re talking, of course, about Christopher Columbus setting foot on land in the Americas (specifically, the Bahamas) for the first time, on 12 October 1492. His arrival was the starting point of a wave of colonisation by the Spanish which took in most of the Americas within a few decades. (Many countries in Latin America celebrate the day; in Spain it’s also called Día de la Hispanidad in recognition of its importance in establishing Spanish culture worldwide.)

The centrepiece of the celebrations is a military parade in Madrid, presided over by the King as titular Commander-in-Chief and the Prime Minister, and including an aerobatic display by the Patrulla Águila.

1 Comment

Rob 10-10-2010, 13:01

I spent some time living in spain (working just over the border in gibraltar) and it seemed like every few weeks all the streets were being blocked off and a huge procession winding through them! National Day was the one to watch though (and three kings in january if you get the chance).

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