The 12th of October1492 is the date when Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) landed at Guanahaní in the Bahamas after 72 days at sea. The 12th of October is therefore considered by Spaniards as a memorable day because it was the beginning of contact between Europe and America "the encounter of two worlds ".
In fact, Columbus always thought that he had arrived at India by a different route avoiding the tricky passage around the Cape of Good Hope. Columbus, who was actually Italian, never suspected that he had discovered the American continent.
Although Columbus was not the first European to discover America, his voyages came at a time when the countries were seeking develop trade routes to enhance their prosperity.
There are now estimated to be 1,500 million people living in the countries where Spanish is the main language; Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia ,Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, España ,EE.UU., Filipinas, Guatemala, Guinea Ecuat., Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú ,Puerto Rico, R. Dominicana, Sahara Occ., Uruguay and Venezuela.
The 12th October is therefore a national holiday in Spain. The day was first celebrated in 1918 and used to be called Fiesta de la Raza and was later changed at the end of the thirties to its present title.