- In general: the second Monday in October
- 2011 date: October 10
- 2012 date: October 8
- 2013 date: October 14
- 2014 date: October 13
- 2015 date: October 12
On Columbus Day, the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, is celebrated. Christopher Columbus (31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an explorer, coloniser, and navigator from Italy. Under the auspices
of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages
across the Atlantic Ocean. These voyages led to the first lasting European contact with America and initiated a period of European exploration and colonisation of foreign lands that had an enormous impact
in the historical development of the modern Western world. Columbus himself saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of the spreading
of the Christian religion.
Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937. However, people have celebrated Columbus's voyage since the colonial period.
Columbus Day is generally observed
today by banks, the bond market
, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal agencies, most state government offices, and some school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, also some states and municipalities
do not observe the holiday.
Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Some states close schools and other state services, while others operate as normal.