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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays Arrow to Home Life - Holidays - Columbus DayColumbus Day & Indigenous Peoples' Day

Columbus Day parade in New York City's 5th Avenue
New York's Fifth Avenue, the site of
America's largest Columbus Day parade.

This year, Columbus Day will be celebrated on Monday, October 11, 2021.

As every school kid knows, it was Christopher Columbus who "in 1492 sailed the ocean blue" on an epic journey half way around the globe -- only to bump into what we now call America. The problem was that he thought he had arrived in India and mistakenly called the natives Indians (now known as, um, Native Americans.)

Despite the confusion, the discovery changed the course of history.

Today, among modern celebrations that mark the discovery of America, a big one for consumers is the annual Columbus Day sale offering summer clearances on garden equipment and air conditioners! And, of course, there are the parades, The one in NYC is by far the largest, grandest and most popular, welcoming over 1 million spectators annually.

Another big celebration happens on the West Coast, when Columbus Day is observed during San Francisco Fleet Week -- with the good reason to celebrate the three famous ships that brought Columbus and his crew to America in 1492..


What's closed on Columbus Day?

Despite it being a normal workday for many Americans, Columbus Day is an official federal government holiday, Post offices and banks close in honor of the day although Wall St. stock markets stay open as usual.

Libraries are also usually closed for the day. School closings are made at the local level, and often East Coast schools will be given the day off while others remain open throughout the rest of the nation.


Columbus Day controversies


Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations take
place on the same day as Columbus Day.

A culture clash continues to grown between those who recognize the contributions of Native Americans and those who celebrate Columbus Day.

Those who still honor the day see Christopher Columbus as an epic figure who helped forge an important trade route from the Old World to the New World, which eventually led to the American ideals of liberty.

Meanwhile, Native Americans regard Columbus Day (only declared a federal holiday in 1937) as a teaching moment to remind the nation of its entire past: Could Columbus have truly "discovered" America when Native Americans had already been living there for countless generations?

Today, in lieu of Columbus Day, individual states, cities and towns across the nation have begun to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. The counter-celebration honors the rich history and culture of the nation's first inhabitants who generously helped early colonists to survive and eventually celebrate the nation's first Thanksgiving with them.


also see -> Native American Month

More about Columbus Day & Indigenous Peoples' around the Web:

Around the Web, discover more about traditional and new ways to celebrate Columbus Day with more stories and history lessons, arts and crafts ideas, and video just up ahead...



Columbus Day
- From the Holiday Zone which offers fun arts and crafts ideas, songs and poems, with links to sites that celebrate Columbus Day. Sites that celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day are given equal time, as well.

Everything You Need to Know About Indigenous Peoples Day - The complete survey of the controversy including a feature video and how each holiday is celebrated.


 
 

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