Discovery Day in Puerto Rico in 2020

Discovery Day in Puerto Rico in 2020
San Juan, Puerto Rico old city wall on the Caribbean Sea. Image by sepavone , via Deposit Photos

  How long until Discovery Day?
This holiday next takes place in 53 days.
  Dates of Discovery Day in Puerto Rico
2022 Puerto Rico Sat, Nov 19 National Holiday
2021 Puerto Rico Fri, Nov 19 National Holiday
2020 Puerto Rico Thu, Nov 19 National Holiday
2019 Puerto Rico Tue, Nov 19 National Holiday
2018 Puerto Rico Mon, Nov 19 National Holiday
  Summary
On November 19th 1493 Columbus landed on Puerto Rico, naming it San Juan Bautista in honor of Saint John the Baptist
  Local name
Día del Descubrimiento de Puerto Rico

When is Discovery Day in Puerto Rico?

Discovery Day (Spanish: Día del Descubrimiento de Puerto Rico) is a public holiday in Puerto Rico observed on November 19th.

This holiday marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the island in 1493.

History of Discovery Day

On September 24th 1493, Christopher Columbus embarked on his second voyage to the new world with 17 ships and over 1,200 soldiers.

On November 19th 1493 he anchored in a bay on the northwest coast of the island He named the island San Juan Bautista in honour of Saint John the Baptist. It has to be said that Columbus' naming convention seems to have been pretty haphazard - some islands got named after saints either because it was their feast day or honouring a church back in Spain. Some islands simply got named after the day of the week that he sighted them (Dominica - Sunday). However, in Puerto Rico's case none of this mattered in the end...

For 15 years, the islands were largely ignored, until Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant under Columbus, was granted permission to explore the island in 1508. On the north coast he found a large bay that could harbour many sailing vessels; founding Caparra, the island's first European colony nearby. By 1521 the town had moved to the northern end of the harbour and renamed Puerto Rico ("Rich Port"). Over the years, the name Puerto Rico came to be applied to the whole island.

Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898. Everyone born on the island is an American citizen and holds a US passport.

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