How Do We Celebrate Columbus Day

October 9, 2017

Second Monday of October is almost here. That means we are going to celebrate Columbus Day. From history lessons, we all know that on October 12, 1492, great Italian discoverer Christopher Columbus opened to the Europeans the New World. Yet, his arrival to America became certainly a controversial event because of the bitter fate of indigenous peoples. Let’s see why and how nowadays we celebrate Columbus Day.

Columbus Day celebration

History of the holiday

Even though the history proves Vikings were the first Europeans to sail to America, it is Christopher Columbus who opened it to the world. It took almost 400 years for Europeans to come with an idea to appreciate Christopher Columbus’ merits before European settlers.

His descendants, Italian-American community in America, offered to honor their great ancestor in 1869. In such a way, the very first Columbus Day was held in San Francisco. In 1907 Colorado adopted it as a state-wide celebration. 30 years later, Columbus Day became a national holiday in the United States. Then, in 1971, it was agreed to celebrate Columbus Day each second Monday in October.


Main controversies of the holiday

If not to take into consideration the fact that many Latin America countries celebrate Columbus Day as the Día de la Raza (Day of the Race), different American states have renamed this holiday recently.

Due to the unpleasant fact that European settlements caused expiration of history and culture of Native American, more and more states claim the need to celebrate Native Americans' Day/Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day.

Observe the holiday

A truly significant celebration of Columbus Day is held in in New York and San Francisco. Italian-American community always prepares for this event with taste and traditional coloring. You will also meet special church services, parades and large events in other cities.

As Columbus Day is a public holiday in some states some government offices, post offices or schools are closed. Make sure to check with your district calendar on Columbus Day holiday closures.

Nowadays, it’s up to you to decide how to celebrate Columbus Day and whom to honor. The only fact is that this is history and we should remember it.


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