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Columbus day is celebrated on 8th of October every year. This is a national holiday in many countries of America and on this day many government bodies remain closed. It is not celebrated in the full continent of America. There are some countries that do not celebrate this day.
On this day Christopher Columbus visited America in the month of October in the year 1492. The arrival of Christopher is celebrated as Columbus day in the United States of America by the name “Dia de la Raza” (“Day of the Race”). This day is celebrated with a different name in different parts of America. It is celebrated by the name "Día de la Hispanidad" in some countries in Latin America. In many parts of the world, it is the religious festivity known as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay. In Italy it is celebrated by the name Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo. It is celebrated as the Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural in Argentina which means the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity. In Spain, it is celebrated as "Fiesta Nacional" and "Día de la Hispanidad".
Christopher Columbus was born in the year 1451 in Genoa (Italy). He was a colonist, navigator, an Italian explorer. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he had completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. He initiated the permanent European colonization of the Americas and it was the first European expeditions to South America, Caribbean, and Central America.
When Christopher Columbus was 42 years old, he wanted to find the new route to India, so he sailed across the Atlantic ocean from Spain in Santa Maria, with Nina and Pinta ships alongside. In the search for India, he did not reach India but instead, he found the new land. He calls the people that he met there Indians because he was convinced that he reached the series of Indies island. He wanted to reach India because the trade of spices and silk with India and China was very profitable and he could make a lot of money with it and could become incredibly rich. In those days, there was a misconception that the world is flat and there was no other way to reach India and China. But many people still believed that the world is not flat. Columbus also believed that the world was round and it was possible to sail to the west and reach India and China. He believed that he could reach Asia with half of the food and limited supply of resources. For this, he had appeared in many places to fund his voyage to Asia by traveling South. The people there did not like the idea and he got rejection from Genoa, Venice, and Portugal. But he had not stopped there. He went to Spain in the year 1486 and tried to persuade King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to finance his expedition. But they were at war and did not have time and money for exploration. So he was rejected there also.
In the year 1492, the war ended and they decided to give Columbus the money he needed. On August 3, 1492, Columbus began to sail to the West from Spain. After 2 months of sailing, Columbus reached Bahamas, landing on the island that he named San Salvador. He did not find enough gold in the San Salvador island. So he decided to explore other islands in search of gold. On the eve of Christmas in the year 1492, the largest ship, Santa Marina was sinking, so the ship had to be abandoned. Columbus left 13 crewmen in to start a settlement and hoped to find more gold. Columbus took some of the native people with him to Spain. Besides gold, he bought with him pineapple, tobacco, parrots, and turkeys. He did this just to prove that there were riches outside of Spain. He was given the title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea and he was also appointed as the Governor of the new land.
The news of the discovery of the new land which Columbus had found began to spread in entire Europe and many explorers had begun in search for more gold. This time Columbus set off with 17 ships and more than 1000 men. But gold was not found and the agreement was broken. The people were against Columbus and he was arrested and in 1500, sent back to Spain. Later, he was eventually freed but he lost his title and much of his wealth. But, here also he did not quit and in 1502, he started his new voyage. It was his final Voyage to the new world. He was still in search of the route to India and China.
In 1504, he returned to Spain. And on May 20th 1506, Christopher Columbus died at the age of 54. He probably still believed that he had successfully sailed to Asia. Christopher Columbus was not the first person to discover America and also, he was not the first European to reach out to the new world. But the Christopher Columbus voyage had a huge impact in the world as he began the new period of trade and colonization. Animals, plants, diseases went back and forth across the ocean and have a long-lasting impact on every culture of the planet. It changed the way of trade, business and in an overall sense, increased the economy of the countries.
Columbus day was first celebrated in the year 1792. It was celebrated when Tammany Hall held an event to remember the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. The Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began to organize annual religious ceremonies and parades in the honor of Christopher Columbus.On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage, the Americans were encouraged by the president, Benjamin Harrison in the year 1892, to celebrate Columbus’s achievements as a patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”
Columbus Day is declared as a national holiday in the year 1937 by president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. It waslargely a result of influential Catholic fraternal organization, lobbying by the Knights of Columbus.
On every 12th of October, this day was celebrated until 1971. But after 1971, it was changed to the second Monday in October. This day is celebrated with host parades by local groups and street fairs wear colorful costumes, music and Italian food will be there to eat. In many parts of America on this day, indigenous people are honored by setting up events such as dance events and lessons about Native American culture. There used to be many activities including pow and wows.
There are many cities in the United States which do not celebrate Columbus day. They have their own set of perspective related to Christopher Columbus and so instead of celebrating Columbus Day in the month of October, the people of the cities celebrate the Indigenous day. Instead of honoring European explorer Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day, Indigenous People’s day is celebrated so that the native Americans commemorate their shared culture. There are certain reasons why they don’t celebrate this day and chose to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Few of their reasons are listed below.
Columbus was above all an explorer, and his historic achievements opened America to trade and the eventual English settlements, settlements which grew into the most successful bastion of freedom and prosperity in human history, the United States of America. –Tom Tancredo
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