Spain’s National Holiday, known as Hispanic Day or Fiesta Nacional de Espana or Dia de la Hispanidad, is celebrated every October 12. This national holiday commemorates the day Christopher Columbus first set foot in America. It is thus related to the Columbus Day celebrations held on the same day and for the same purpose across the Americas.
The anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492 is widely celebrated throughout the Americas, where it is known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Dia de la Raza in various Latin American countries.
Celebration of the anniversary in Spain dates to 1935, when the first festival was held in Madrid. The day was known as Dia de la Hispanidad, emphasising Spain’s connection to the Hispanidad, the international Hispanic community. On November 27, 1981, a royal decree established Dia de la Hispanidad as a national holiday.
Since 2000, October 12 has also been Spain’s Day of the Armed Forces, celebrated each year with a military parade in Madrid. The parade is presided by the Spanish King. The Prime Minister of Spain also has a special role in the ceremony, only second to that of 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 performed by the Spanish Armed Forces, which typically feature a display by the Spanish Air Force’s aerobatics team, the Patrulla Aguila.