Día de la Hispanidad: Celebrating Spain’s National Day

Here at Paellas Ole, we are excited to share with you the National Day of our country, Día de la Hispanidad. Spain's National Day takes place on October 12th every year, and this year we encourage you to get involved and join the party. No matter how big or small your celebrations are, why not invite your loved one round and indulge in a Spanish feast.

Día de la Hispanidad: Celebrating Spain’s National Day

The History

It commemorates the arrival of Italian-born Christopher Columbus in the Americas. He arrived on an island in the Bahamas (San Salvador). Christopher Columbus initially left Spain searching for new land off the coast of India; instead, he came across San Salvador in 1492.

Controversy surrounds the idea that Columbus 'discovered' America as he was not the first person to find and live in America. However, the continent was largely unknown to Europeans and led to the rapid discovery of the country. Spain conquered the south of what is today the United States and a significant part of South America. The Spanish empire was at its greatest in these times as it expanded rapidly, and the holiday also celebrates the union of Castilla and Aragón, which created Spain as we know it today!

Día de la Hispanidad was first celebrated in Madrid in 1935; however, it became a national public holiday in 1981. In 1987 it was renamed Fiesta Nacional (Spain's National Day), removing any reference to Spanish colonialism. It is worth mentioning that some Spaniards refuse to celebrate the holiday as they believe it to be celebrating the genocide that ensued when conquering America. Instead, they choose to take a holiday on 1st October to commemorate the first protest against Fiesta Nacional.

However, the holiday is celebrated by others worldwide, and in the US, it's called 'Columbus Day'. This is a day for Italian-Americans to celebrate their heritage. Whilst in Latin America, it is a day to celebrate their culture and traditions that survived the arrival of the Europeans on American soil.

How is it celebrated?

The main event is the massive military parade that takes place every year in Madrid. October 12th also coincides with Armed Forces Day and so celebrates both on one day through spectacular displays. The army comes and marches along the capital's grandest thoroughfare. King Felipe VI, who is head of the armed forces, attends with Queen Letizia and their daughters and the Prime Minister, leading politicians, and foreign dignitaries. The event's culmination is a fly-by from the Spanish Air Force aerobatics team, the Patrulla Águila, who released a stream of crimson and gold smoke to replicate Spain's national flag across the sky.

There are other celebrations throughout Spain, with Malaga putting on their military procession as their port, where Columbus set sail on his quest for the new world. FamiliesNevertheless, some connected to the military may be more likely to watch and enjoy the processions; however, for most, it is a chance to catch up on sleep and have a day off work.

Why not celebrate some of Spain's culture by getting together this October 12th with some fresh, delicious paella. Paellas Ole is based in London, and we are a paella delivery service wherein we cater to big or small groups, bringing the authentic taste of Spain to your doorstep (ADD LINK TO HOME DELIVERY PAGE). Take a look at our website or simply find us on popular food delivery apps UberEats and Deliveroo.