Columbus Day is a U.S. federal holiday that became official in 1937, although it was celebrated for years before that. It’s a day meant to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492, marking the beginning of European colonization in North America.
Over the last five centuries or so, the day has taken on several different meanings. Here are a few Columbus Day Party ideas that you can use for a party this weekend or on Monday, October 12:
- Keep it focused on the journey: Columbus and his crew spent months on the now-famous Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, exploring and searching for land. If you’re experiencing nice fall weather, set up shop outside and have a boat race. Create the boats on your picnic table with craft supplies, fill a kiddie pool with water and set sail!
- Throw a party for Indigenous Peoples Day: Berkeley, CA first celebrated this day in 1992 and includes Native American performances, crafts and food. It’s also known as Native Americans’ Day, which originated in South Dakota. It’s a day to celebrate Native Americans’ culture including pow wows and to raise awareness about the their history. If you’re in an area that has public events, check them out! If not, set aside time to watch a documentary or two about the history and culture of Native Americans.
- Celebrate Columbus’ Italian heritage: When Italian immigrants arrived in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century, they embraced Christopher Columbus, a fellow Italian, as a hero to be celebrated. Over the century since then, some Columbus Day parades have become Italian-American celebrations. If you choose to celebrate Columbus Day this way, there may be a parade in your area, again, depending on where you are. New York City and San Francisco are two big cities that celebrate Columbus’ Italian heritage. If you’re staying at home, invite some friends over and make some authentic Italian dishes and spend some time outside enjoying the food and drinks.
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