While on his search for spices and gold in the West Indies, Chris stumbled upon, at the time, a little known continent called North America on October 12th of that year.
Centuries later, here in the United States Columbus’ directional accident has become a government holiday where banks are closed and parades are thrown. And it’s not just Americans celebrating/protesting their discovery or the Italians marching with pride for their brave explorer, but it’s also the Spanish who bank rolled the whole affair that have come to call it a holiday in recent years.
Fiesta Nacional de Espana came about as recently as 1987. It is only one of two national holidays. In addition to celebrating Columbus’ discovery of the “New World”, Fiesta National also the day the Spanish pay homage to their armed forces.
It is actually for this, the Day of the Armed Forces, that there is a big parade in Madrid where Spain’s head of state, who also happens to be their king, turns out to oversee the big affair.
Much like Columbus Day here in the states, in Spain there is no real fanfare to go along with the holiday. It’s a nice autumn afternoon off from the grind that many people observe by hosting a casual gathering with family and friends. I can think of no better excuse to have some people over, open a nice bottle of Rioja, get the tapas set and lift a glass to an Italian guy sent by a Spanish woman to go to the Indies only to find himself in America.
It’s a crazy world. A crazy round world.
Assorted Spanish Meats (Serrano Ham, Chorizo, Salami)