Let’s hear it for Spain!

Today is the Fiesta Nacional de España (sounds a lot better in Spanish, doesn’t it?). There’s a very historical reason why it is celebrated today; it commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first arrival in the Americas, on October 12 1492.

Quite a few countries think this is something to mark and celebrate. In the United States, the second Monday of October is Columbus Day. In Bahamas, it is Discovery Day, in Costa Rica Day of the Cultures, in Argentina, Chile and Mexico Day of the Race and in Venezuela, Day of Indigenous Resistance. 

In Spain, it was previously called Día de la Hispanidad, to mark the ties with the international Hispanic community. It has been celebrated since 1935, and it became a national holiday in 1981. Spain actually has two national celebrations, there’s also Constitution Day on December 6. And since October 12 also happens to be the Day of the Armed Forces, there’s an important military parade in Madrid, led by the King and the Prime Minister. Other than that, it’s mostly an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

And it’s a good excuse to try out the art of making a Spanish omelette (tortilla). Pour yourself a glass of nice Spanish wine while you cook (the chef’s privilege).

Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette)

3 to 4 good potatoes
1 small onion
1 cup olive oil (don’t worry, you’ll drain most of it)
6 -7 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper




¡que aproveche!

By Unni Holtedahl, October 12 2013