Hispanic Day in Spain in 2023

  How long until Hispanic Day?
Hispanic Day
  Dates of Hispanic Day in Spain
2025 Spain Sun, Oct 12 Public Holiday
2024 Spain Sat, Oct 12 Public Holiday
2023 Spain Thu, Oct 12 Public Holiday
2022 Spain Wed, Oct 12 Public Holiday
2021 Spain Tue, Oct 12 Public Holiday

This national holiday commemorates the exact date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas

  Local name
Fiesta Nacional de España

When is Hispanic Day?

This holiday is always celebrated on October 12th. If October 12th is a Sunday, then some regions may move the holiday to Monday October 13th.

It is Spain’s National Holiday and is also known as Hispanic Day or Fiesta Nacional de España or Día de la Hispanidad (in Spanish).

History of Hispanic Day

This national holiday commemorates the exact date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas.

Columbus was attempting to find a western sea route to India. After leaving the Canary Islands, Columbus' ships had been sailing west for five weeks, when on the morning of October 12th 1492, land was spotted.

The sighting is recorded as having been made by a lookout, but Columbus insisted that he had seen a light from land a few hours earlier, therefore making sure that he was awarded a lifetime pension from the Spanish Royal family for being the first person to spot land.

They then made landfall at an island in the Bahamas, which he named San Salvador, though it is not sure which island in the Bahamas this actually was.

Columbus' voyages across the Atlantic Ocean initiated the European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Did you know?

While the first voyage in 1492 was immensely significant, Columbus did not actually reach the American mainland until his third voyage in 1498.

In 1892 Queen Maria Christina promulgated a Royal Decree declaring a national holiday on October 12th in commemoration of the Discovery of America. In 1913, the Ibero-American Union of Madrid named it Día de la Raza for “the union of all the Spanish-speaking regions.”

In 1935 it became Hispanic Heritage Day, although it did not have legal recognition until 1958 through a decree of the Presidency of the Government.

Officially, the National Holiday Day was established in 1987 with Law 18/1987. A Royal Decree of 1981 was the first document to establish the rules for celebrating October 12th in law.

Though the holiday marks the day Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World, in 1987 Spain removed any reference to Spanish colonialism from the name of the holiday.

How is Hispanic Day celebrated?

Spain’s national holiday coincides with the country’s Armed Forces Day and a military parade in Madrid is a key part of the celebrations each year. The Presidente del Gobierno (Prime Minister) has a special role in the ceremony, only second to the King. Then a wide array of authorities, from foreign diplomats deployed in Spain to members of the Autonomous governments, are invited to attend the parade.

Apart from the huge parade in the capital, Madrid, there are plenty of other celebrations that take place throughout the rest of the country.

In the Autonomous Community of Aragon, this date also commemorates Our Lady of the Pillar (their patroness). It is also observed by the Civil Guard.

Note that public transport will run on a "Sunday service" with less frequency. Look out for "domingos y festivos" on timetables. Some shops will be closed, especially outside city centers and tourist destinations. Most restaurants will be open.

Celebrate Spanish National Day with your Hue lights

Did you know?

Three facts about Hispanic Day

The official name of the country is The Kingdom of Spain.

Spaniards spend more on food per capita than anyone else in Europe.

The youngest king in history was Alfonso XIII of Spain. He became the king the day he was born.

More facts about Hispanic Day

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