Columbus Day, History, Parade, Events
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED May 08, 2018
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We all have heard, read and known about Christopher Columbus and how the explorer discovered The Great Republic, America. As we all know it, it was on a gay day that the navigator sailed for the Indies initially in a hope to find huge riches of precious gold and metals and pearls and spices but the steady winds and the calmness of the sea drove him westwards instead and bang! There was America. But not only the Americans but also a number of countries like Italy, Spain and a lot of other countries celebrate Columbus Day actually on October 12.
1. Origin of Columbus Day
Typically observed on October 12, Columbus Day is the celebration of American heritage all over the American states and also in Italy and Spain. The day was first observed in San Francisco in the year 1869. The New York City followed the celebrations and rejoiced in the glorious significance of the event by decorating ships in the harbor with American and Italian flags. It was not until the fall of 1907 that the day was celebrated as a state-wide celebration, officially declared by Governor Jesse F. McDonald in Colorado. The date stirred to be of a great significance as in the year 1937 it was declared as holiday across the United States.
From the year 1971 on, the second Monday of October has been celebrated as Columbus Day. Since then the virtue, remembrance and the annual celebration in the name of the dreamer-explorer lived on. There is a large controversy associated with celebrating the Columbus Day as it is resented by the Native American with the reason that the explorer wiped the Native clans with genocide and that forms the background story of the evolution of the ‘New Nation’. That is a reason why Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated on October 12 among the Natives of America rejoicing their age-old heritage, history and culture instead of celebrating the achievements of the Italian Explorer.
Also, some Latin American countries like Argentina, El Salvador, Columbia, Costa RICA, Mexico, and Ecuador and more on the list celebrate the day as Dia de la Raza or the Day of the race. This is again to protest the bloodshed of the native ‘Indians’ or so was what the Europeans like to call the Native Americans, during the Columbus Colonization of the newfound country. Like a lot of countries that do not buy any significance of the Columbus Day and has replaced it with some other certain day that matches their own belief, there are a few other areas in America that celebrates Hispanic Day to celebrate Hispanic culture. New York City is also including among the cities that celebrates Hispanic Day.
2. Columbus Day Events
If you are in New York City or Boston in the month of October and stay there until the Columbus Day you are sure to witness a grand Parade with almost 35,000 marchers and a flood of nearly a million spectators which you are sure to find amusing. A huge gathering at the Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72th street and not only that every other glitz of the show is what you are sure to find like an Italian Folk Dance at the same venue. There are a lot of other events that can be surely attended such as the Columbus Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral held for men, women and children looking for new opportunities in life just like the famous navigator-explorer did. There are great Columbus Day Sales going on in the Columbus Circle and so if there be anyone wanting to avoid the jam on the streets during the time they can surely check of the amazing offers at the Columbus Circle. And hang on! There is much more on the way as the Native American Arts Council of New York City, Red hawk when musicians, artists, and other performers put on a fine display of their talents celebrating the Indigenous People’s Day.
There are a lot of things to look out for on Columbus Day in America and what you’ll definitely notice is the evident joy on the faces of people as they go on to celebrates the day in their own possible way.