OCTOBER 12 is said to be the day that Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas and the Day of the Hispanics is a public holiday which celebrates his fantastic achievement.
A special parade is held in La Plaza de Colon in Madrid, led by the Spanish military attended by the King and Royal Family. Foreign diplomats and the presidents of the autonomous governments are invited to attend.
The King watches the raising of the Spanish national flag in the centre of Madrid and he and the prime minister plus the other invited guests view a march-past of military units and vehicles.
The air force performs aerobatics above the route and displays yellow and red smoke to represent the Spanish flag. All of this is covered nationally on TV and through the internet.
Different versions of the event with different names take place all over Latin America and the second Monday in October is Columbus Day, a national holiday in the USA. In Spain, it is also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of Spain’s Guardia Civil.