Columbus Day: the origins of this holiday
Christopher Columbus was a Italian navigator and explorer who was looking for a shorter route to the East Indies. Confident, Ysabelle of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Spanish monarchs, decided to finance his project. Christopher Columbus therefore took the road west and discovered America on October 12, 1492 for the first time. When he set foot on this uncovered territory, he thought he was in India and decided to call the inhabitants the Indians. 300 years later, in 1792, the first ceremony of homage to Christopher Columbus took place.
All Italians see in Christopher Columbus a true hero (don't forget he was Italian) and on October 12, 1866, the Italian community decided to organize a party to celebrate the discovery of America. This is how Columbus Day was born and in 1892, a statue bearing the likeness of Christopher Columbus was installed on Columbus Avenue.
Columbus Day: a celebration for every state!
In the United States, not all states celebrate Columbus Day in the same way and in New York, this day is celebrated by a very large parade in the streets of the city. This parade has been taking place on Fifth Avenue since 1915 and for this parade floats and marching bands parade. Several events are also organized for this feast day.
What is the date of Columbus Day?
As noted, Columbus Day takes place on the second Monday in October. In 2018, it will therefore be celebrated 8 October.
But why this date? Quite simply, because this would correspond to the date around which Christopher Columbus would have set foot for the first time on American soil.
What to do on Columbus Day in New York?
If you're lucky enough to be in New York for Columbus Day, here's a look at what to do on this day of celebration. Whether you are a couple, family or friends, you will not get bored and you will always have something to do!
And for those going to New York for several days in October, here are all the activities to do during this month. And don't forget to take a short walk through Central Park (click here to learn more about this must-see park) to take photos of the magnificent landscapes and fall colors.
Now here is everything you can do to celebrate Columbus Day as it should be and especially like a New Yorker!
Participate in the mass in homage to Christopher Columbus
To start this day of celebration, know that at 9:30 a.m. fair is organized at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in homage to Christopher Columbus: the Columbus Day Mass. After this solemn mass, head for the big parade organized for this special day!
Watch the grand parade on 5th Avenue
For Columbus Day, every year there is a huge parade on Fifth Avenue: The Columbus Day Parade. In total, this parade brings together more than 35 participants, including Italians who have come to celebrate their heroes. Moreover Ferraris and Vespas can be seen during the parade and during the parade, do not hesitate to take a few steps on the Italian dances!
Floats, but also music groups parade and every year, this parade attracts more than a million people and more than a million also turn on the television to watch this famous parade. The Columbus Day Parade is therefore the major event of this holiday!
The parade starts at 11h30 at the corner of 44th street and Fifth Avenue. The parade then goes up to 72nd avenue. So remember to arrive in advance to ensure a good seat and if you can, take a seat at 67th and 69th street towards the “red carpets”; the groups participating in the parade stop there to put on the show!
The parade ends around 15 p.m.
After the parade, do not hesitate to stroll through the streets of New York and if you reach the Columbus Circle (roundabout located in the southwest of Manhattan), you may see a christopher columbus statue.
Shopping on Fifth Avenue!
For Columbus Day, schools and some establishments remain closed. After attending the parade, I can only advise you to shop on the famous Fifth Avenue, paradise for all window shopping enthusiasts!
4 km long, this avenue is world famous and is bordered by many stores ! You will have the choice between luxury boutiques like Prada, Louis Vuitton or Tiffany's and iconic stores like Apple and Niketown. You will therefore have a wide choice of shops according to your budget. Moreover, for Columbus Day, the brands offer interesting promotions, enjoy it!
But besides shops, on Fifth Avenue many monuments have been built. If you keep your eyes open, you can spot Rockefeller Center which offers you a magnificent view of other iconic New York buildings and the Guggenheim Museum, a monument whose architecture is sure to impress you!
If you are in New York for Columbus Day, you will see that the party is there and that all the inhabitants pay homage to Christopher Columbus as it should be! So, take advantage of this party to have fun and experience Columbus Day 100%! Party and fun guaranteed!