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Tomorrow, October 12th, is yet another holiday in Spain, actually it is more than one holiday, it is known as : Fiesta Nacional de España, Día de la Hispanidad and Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

fiesta 12th october

So what’s it all about?

This holiday date is celebrated in many countries to commemorate Christopher Columbus´s discovery of the Americas. In Spain, it is dedicated to, Nuestro Señora del Pilar,  the patron saint of all Hispanic people and also the Spanish Guardia Civil.

First the historical stuff …

A royal decree on November 27th 1981, established 12th October, Día de la Hispanidad, as a national holiday. The name emphasizing Spain’s links with the Hispanic Community.

However, a change in name resulted in the removal of reference to Spain’s historical colonialism and ties to Latin America as, on October 7th 1987, the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional.   Along with 6th December, it became one of two national celebrations.

And there’s more …

Since October 12th 2000, it has also also been referred to as Spain’s Day of the Armed Forces, particularly in Madrid where a military parade takes place each year and Juan Carlos, the king of Spain, supervises the raising of the Spanish national flag in the center of Madrid.

The biggest celebration of all?

The biggest celebration on this day is dedicated to the patron saint of Hispanic people and the Guardia Civil, Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The Fiestas de Pilar are celebrated over a nine day period in the Zaragoza region and local celebrations take place in many villages in Spain.

So how will you be spending 12th October this year?

 Whatever you do, enjoy!

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Lisa Sadleir

Founder at Family in Spain SL
We love Family Life In Spain. Join us as we share experiences and essential updates, advice & assistance related to living in and moving to Spain. ¡ Olé !



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