Día de la Raza, meaning Day of the Race, honors the people and countries that were conquered by Spain and other European explorers. This holiday is a symbol of respect, honor, and inclusion of people all over the world. Día de la Raza is celebrated on October 12th and was first observed in 1928. This celebration helps everyone recognize the cultural fusion of Native American and Spanish heritage. This festivity’s traditions involve dances, parades, bullfights, parties, and a plethora of Hispanic food.
In the early 1920’s, World War I helped Dia de la Raza come together. The war notably impacted Latin America’s view on its role in the world. Conflict strongly affected the way Latinos viewed the old continent and shaped the way the subcontinent viewed and characterized itself. Various disagreements were created in public opinion in Latin America about the war; thus, generating a disagreement between the sides. In the end, Hispanics decided to come together in 1913 to create Día de la Raza, which celebrates Columbus’ arrival in the Americas every October 12th and brings everyone together.
Latin American food is one of the many things celebrated on Día de la Raza. Some special dishes prepared are tamales, which are cornmeal dough wrapped in corn husks or other vegetable leaves, and Trinidad pastille, which is a variation of meats cooked in a banana leaf. Many Mexican restaurants provide these meals on Día de la Raza, but Mexico is not the only country to hold festivities. Countries such as Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Uruguay, and Venezuela also celebrate Día de la Raza. Many people are enjoying the day with several activities out on the streets like breaking piñatas and playing games such as “Palin” which is played with curved sticks and a wooden ball. Larger communities throw big fiestas that include dancing, singing, and bullfights. People are also seen wearing colorful costumes that resemble the pre-Columbus age. These outfits appreciate Christopher Columbus discovering the New World, first encountering the Native Americans, and permanently altering the world.
Día de la Raza makes a difference because it keeps past traditions alive and brings the community together by teaching others about the history behind the celebration. It is a great way to celebrate Hispanic heritage, share it with individuals from other cultures, and keep the ceremonies and traditions always growing.