Columbus Day is celebrated in the US on the second Monday in October. The holiday is dedicated to Christopher Columbus, who discovered America. He personifies a controversial figure, but has the right to be in history. In recent years, clouds have hung over the holiday, but we will still tell you more about it.
The holiday was first celebrated in 1792. It is symbolic that this year exactly 300 years have passed since the landing of Columbus. People used the date to gain knowledge about the country and to perform various patriotic rituals, such as attending churches and other events. Columbus Day featured processions and parades.
Years passed, and new details of the atrocities committed by the traveler were revealed. Native Americans suffered at his hands, as they were expelled from their native land, enslaved, and maimed. It is hard to imagine how some survived such a terrible time.
Despite the fact that for many Columbus is a hero and an explorer who mistakenly believed he had reached India, he increasingly reminds people of the United States of the genocide perpetrated against Native Americans. Many organizations and individuals have filed complaints about the holiday, asking for it to be removed or renamed. Today, many parts of the country no longer honor Columbus and try not to remember him.
It is curious that:
- The legend states that Columbus discovered America in a blue shirt, and since then many men have worn similar shirts.
- At the age of 14, Christopher ran away from home, leaving school and work in his father’s workshop; he became a merchant’s assistant on a ship.
- Before his death, he asked to be sent on his last journey – to Jerusalem
- Columbus was considered a talented admiral, but historical evidence confirms that he was better known as a tyrant and a cruel slave owner.
- His remains were transported many times – historians believe that they are completely scattered around the world.
How Columbus Day is celebrated
Teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day to promote patriotism during the 400th anniversary in 1892. These patriotic rituals were seen as a way to demonstrate loyalty to the country, and to celebrate social progress. Some parts of the US celebrated the discovery of their country with church services and other activities. On Columbus Day, some towns and cities hold special church services, parades and large events. Columbus Day is also known as Landing Day or Discoverer’s Day in Hawaii.
Columbus Day has become a celebration of Italian-American heritage in many parts of the US. On this occasion, local associations organize parades and street parties featuring vibrant costumes, music, dance, and Italian food. The people of these cities and towns observe Columbus Day to honor their native ancestors; activities include pow-wows, traditional dance, and lessons about Native American culture.
In many places in America, Columbus Day is a public holiday; however, some organizations and stores are open. Columbus Day is celebrated as a government holiday. Some government offices are closed, while many businesses, factories, shops, and other workplaces are open. Some schools and colleges are open, though some may be closed.
When is Columbus Day celebrated in 2023?
Columbus Day is observed every year on the second Monday in October.