Spain’s National Day, La Fiesta Nacional de España, is October 12. It commemorates the day in 1492 when the first Columbus expedition discovered the Americas for Spain. The discovery led to the Spanish Empire which lasted until 1898.
October 12 is also the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint of Spain.
Rodrigo de Triana, a sailor on one of Columbus’ ships, sighted land and reported it. Columbus later lied and claimed the discovery for himself. That enabled him to collect a lifetime pension for the first person to discover land. It’s notable that the conquest of the Americas began with treachery. Dishonorable behavior was constant throughout the conquest.
La Fiesta Nacional de España
This is a national holiday in Spain. Madrid usually celebrates with a military parade led by the king and prime minister of Spain.
The celebration began in 1935. It was then called “La Día de la Hispanidad,” a reference to Spain’s relations with its former colonies. In that way, it is similar to Commonwealth Day in the UK and former English colonies.
Except in Madrid, the day is not important to most Spaniards. Spain remains a loose confederation of semi-autonomous states.
Spain National Day 2017
These events in New York City celebrate Spain’s National Day.
Spaniard Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Beethoven’s Symphony Noo. 1 and Mozart’s “Great” Mass in C Minor at the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in Midtown, Manhattan Tuesday, October 12 at 8 pm. $16.50 – $95
Tenor Rodolfo Albero and pianist Manuel Ariza play Spanish composers for Spain’s National Day celebration at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall in Midtown, Manhattan at 8 pm. $40