Day of the Pluricultural Nation in Mexico in 2021

Day of the Pluricultural Nation in Mexico in 2021
The Landing of Columbus at San Salvador. Image by Albert Bierstadt

  Dates of Day of the Pluricultural Nation in Mexico
2022 Mexico Wed, Oct 12 Statutory Holiday
2021 Mexico Tue, Oct 12 Statutory Holiday
2020 Mexico Mon, Oct 12 Statutory Holiday
2019 Mexico Sat, Oct 12 Statutory Holiday
2018 Mexico Fri, Oct 12 Statutory Holiday
  Summary
Not an official holiday, this day commemorates the exact date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas
  Local name
Día de la Nación Pluricultural

When is the Day of the Pluricultural Nation?

This is a holiday observed on the date of the arrival in the Americas in 1492, by navigator Christopher Columbus and his crew of 90 men.

In Mexico, it was known as Dia de la Raza (The Day of the Races) and is always celebrated on October 12th.

In November 2020, the Mexican Senate officially approved October 12th as the Day of the Pluricultural Nation to recognize "the multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual wealth that characterizes Mexico." 

"The objective is to motivate the knowledge, recognition, appreciation and promotion of the multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual wealth that characterizes Mexico," the Senate detailed in a statement.

History of the Day of the Pluricultural Nation

Columbus believed that the world was round and that a crossing the Atlantic Ocean would provide a shorter route to trade with Asia.

Queen Isabella of Spain sponsored Columbus' expedition. By being the first country to find a short water route to Asia, Spain could use the opportunity to claim new lands for colonization, profit from lucrative trade with Asia, and spread Christianity to Asian natives.

On August 3rd 1492 Columbus set sail with his three ships on his quest to cross the Atlantic. On October 12th 1492, they landed on what is now the island of San Salvador. They believed they had reached India. Since that time, Native Americans have been known as Indians.

After four voyages to the New World, Columbus explored many of the islands of the West Indies including Cuba, and Jamaica, but never discovered the mainland. After an unsuccessful career as Governor of the Spanish West Indies, Columbus returned to Spain where he died.

In Mexico, Columbus Day is a legal holiday and was called Dia de la Raza which means "the Day of the Races". It commemorates the history of the races which compose the Mexican people. It is a day Mexicans use to explore both their Spanish and Indian roots.

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