Columbus Day 2017
Columbus Day 2017 will be celebrated on October 9. Because it does not have a fixed day of observation, it is generally a different date within October every year.
When Do We celebrate Columbus Day?
When Columbus Day was first established as a federal holiday in 1937, it was always celebrated on October 12th. However, in 1971 it was decided that going forward, observance of the holiday would occur on the second Monday of every October.
The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was implemented by Congress and signed in 1968. What the act did was designate specific holidays to be celebrated on Mondays only. The legislation did not go into effect until 1971. This is why Columbus Day didn’t see its new date until two years following the Uniform Monday Holiday Act being signed.
Why Do We celebrate Columbus Day?
Columbus Day was originally designated as a federal holiday as a way to commemorate Columbus’ arrival to America on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus originally set sail in order to discover an alternate route to Asia. When he landed in the region of the Bahamas, he became the first European to survey America since the 10th century.
Columbus Day is only celebrated in America as opposed to a globally recognized event. Christopher Columbus, for whom the holiday is named, sailed to the continental United States from Italy. As a result of this fact, often times Columbus Day celebrations include a nod to Italian-American heritage. This comprises of cuisine, music, and costumes that speak the era of Columbus’ landing in America as well as the location he sailed from.
Celebrations regularly also include commemorating of indigenous peoples as they were among the first contacts to encounter Christopher Columbus and his fellow explorers. These festivities include things like pow-wows and education in Native American culture and history.