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Columbus Day: where is a public holiday on October 12 in Spain?

On October 12 the National Holiday of Spain is celebrated. It was law 18/1987 which established this date as a holiday: «The chosen date symbolizes the historical anniversary in which Spain, about to conclude a process of State construction based on our cultural and political plurality, and integration of the kingdoms of Spain in the same monarchy, begins a period of linguistic and cultural projection beyond the European limits . Therefore, it commemorates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus on October 12, 1492. But is October 12 a holiday in all communities?

The answer is yes. October 12 is a non-replaceable national holiday, so that Hispanic Day is a holiday in all parts of the Spanish geography . After the cancellation of the parade in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, this 2021 is celebrated again. The Kings will preside over an act in which different military bodies will parade through Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana.

As indicated by the Ministry of Defense, at 10:00 am the Honors Battalion of the Royal Guard will join in the Plaza de Lima. At 10:30 am the Kings will arrive and the military honors will be held. After the parachute jump over the Plaza de Lima, the raising of the national flag and the tribute to all those who gave their lives for Spain, the Hispanic Day parade will begin.

Origin of the National Holiday of Spain

The origin of this festive day dates back to 1892. The Queen Regent María Cristina of Austria, signed on behalf of her son, King Alfonso XIII, a royal decree declaring October 12 National Holiday for the VI centenary of the Discovery of America . A century later, the holiday took the force of law in Spain, becoming an official National Holiday.

Although October 12 is popularly called Hispanic Day, the 1987 law establishes that it is the National Holiday of Spain . A Royal Decree of 1997 established the military parade by law: “Enhance as much as possible the commemoration of the National Holiday of Spain and seek in it the full integration of all the historical and cultural elements that make up the Spanish nation .”

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