Looking for some exciting plans for Columbus Day? Wondering what to do to make the most of this holiday? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ve got you covered with a variety of captivating activities and ideas to celebrate Columbus Day. Whether you’re looking to explore history, indulge in delicious food, or enjoy the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone. So, let’s dive right into the list of thrilling options that will make your Columbus Day one to remember! Whether you’re an adventurer or a history enthusiast, Columbus Day has something for everyone. Let’s explore the possibilities together!
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Columbus Day: What to Do
Columbus Day is an annual holiday that celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. While the holiday has its origins in the United States, it is also observed in other countries such as Spain, Italy, and Latin American nations. It is a time to reflect on the historical significance of Columbus’s voyage and explore the impact it had on the world.
1. Learn about Columbus’s Exploration
One of the best ways to honor Columbus Day is by taking the time to learn about the explorer and his voyages. Here are some activities and resources to help you delve into Columbus’s exploration:
Read Books and Articles
There are numerous books and articles available that provide detailed accounts of Columbus’s journeys. Some notable titles include “The Voyages of Christopher Columbus” by John Vandercook and “Columbus: The Four Voyages” by Laurence Bergreen. These books offer historical context and insights into Columbus’s motivations and experiences.
Visit Museums and Exhibitions
Many museums and exhibitions feature exhibits focused on Christopher Columbus and his exploration. Plan a visit to local museums or search for virtual exhibitions that showcase artifacts and provide educational information about his voyages. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Christopher Columbus Museum in Genoa, Italy, are excellent options for learning more about the explorer.
Watch Documentaries and Films
Another engaging way to gain knowledge about Columbus’s exploration is by watching documentaries and films. Documentaries such as “Columbus: The Lost Voyage” and “Columbus: Secrets from the Grave” offer in-depth insights into his journey and its impact. Additionally, movies like “1492: Conquest of Paradise” provide a cinematic depiction of Columbus’s endeavors.
2. Explore Indigenous Cultures
It’s important to recognize the viewpoint of indigenous cultures, which were significantly affected by Columbus’s arrival. Take the opportunity on Columbus Day to learn about and appreciate the rich traditions and histories of indigenous people. Here are some suggestions:
Attend Indigenous Cultural Events
Search for local events that celebrate indigenous cultures and attend them to gain a better understanding of their customs and traditions. These events often feature dance performances, storytelling, arts and crafts, and authentic cuisine. Engaging with these cultural experiences can be both educational and enjoyable.
Visit Indigenous Heritage Sites
Many regions have sites and landmarks that hold historical significance for indigenous communities. Visit these places to learn about their histories and deepen your appreciation for their contributions. Examples include Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois.
Support Indigenous businesses
On Columbus Day, consider supporting indigenous-owned businesses by purchasing their products or services. This can be as simple as shopping at indigenous-owned stores, eating at indigenous-owned restaurants, or buying artwork and crafts directly from indigenous artisans. By doing so, you contribute to the preservation of their cultures and help support their communities.
3. Engage in Volunteer Work
Columbus Day can also be an opportunity to give back to your community and help others. Here are some volunteering ideas that you can consider:
Participate in Community Service Projects
Look for local community service projects happening on Columbus Day and volunteer your time and skills. These projects may include cleaning up parks, assisting at food banks, organizing clothing drives, or participating in neighborhood improvement initiatives. You can contribute to making your community a better place.
Support Local Nonprofit Organizations
Reach out to local nonprofit organizations and offer your assistance on Columbus Day. Many of these organizations rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions. Whether it’s tutoring children, helping at animal shelters, or assisting seniors, your contribution can make a meaningful impact.
Organize a Fundraising Event
If you have the resources and time, consider organizing a fundraising event to support a cause you are passionate about. This could be a charity run, a bake sale, or a community auction. All funds raised can be donated to a deserving organization that aligns with your chosen cause.
4. Reflect on the Historical and Controversial Aspects
While Columbus Day is a time to commemorate the explorer’s arrival, it is essential to acknowledge the controversies surrounding the holiday. Here are some aspects to consider:
Research Different Perspectives
Take the opportunity to research and understand different perspectives on Columbus and his impact. Some view him as a hero, while others criticize his treatment of indigenous peoples. By exploring multiple viewpoints, you can develop a well-rounded understanding of the historical context.
Engage in Discussions
Initiate or participate in open and respectful discussions about Columbus Day and its significance. This can be with friends, family, or even online communities. Sharing knowledge and listening to differing opinions can promote a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding this holiday.
Support Alternative Celebrations
Consider supporting alternative celebrations and observations that promote inclusivity and cultural understanding. For example, some communities have chosen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Attend these events or actively engage in activities that honor indigenous cultures and histories.
5. Enjoy Outdoor Activities
Columbus Day often falls during a beautiful time of year when the weather is pleasant. Take advantage of the holiday to enjoy outdoor activities with family and friends. Here are some ideas:
Go for a Hike or Nature Walk
Find a nearby hiking trail or park and spend the day exploring the natural beauty around you. Enjoy the fresh air, observe local flora and fauna, and embrace the beauty of the outdoors. Consider packing a picnic to make it a memorable experience.
Organize a Sports Event
Gather a group of friends or family members and organize a friendly sports event. It could be a soccer match, a game of touch football, or a volleyball tournament. Not only will this keep you active, but it will also create lasting memories.
Plan a Beach Trip
If you live near a beach, plan a day trip to soak up the sun and enjoy the ocean. Relax on the sand, swim in the water, or even try out water sports such as paddleboarding or kayaking. Don’t forget to bring beach games and a delicious picnic.
Columbus Day offers various opportunities to engage in educational, cultural, and recreational activities. Whether you choose to learn more about Columbus’s exploration, explore indigenous cultures, volunteer, reflect on history, or enjoy outdoor activities, make the most of this holiday. Remember to approach the day with respect, openness, and a desire to broaden your knowledge and experiences.
Why the US celebrates Columbus Day
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some activities to do on Columbus Day?
There are various activities to enjoy on Columbus Day. Here are a few suggestions:
Yes, you can visit historic sites associated with Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day. Some popular options include the Christopher Columbus Memorial in Washington, D.C., or the replica of the Santa Maria ship in Barcelona, Spain.
Are there any parades or events held on Columbus Day?
Yes, many cities organize parades and events to celebrate Columbus Day. Major cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago host lively parades with floats, music, and marching bands.
What are some ways to honor Indigenous peoples on Columbus Day?
Instead of solely focusing on Christopher Columbus, you can use Columbus Day as an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the Indigenous peoples who were affected by colonization. Educate yourself about their cultures, attend Indigenous-led events, or support Indigenous-owned businesses.
Can I take a day trip or go camping on Columbus Day?
Absolutely! Columbus Day can be a great time to plan a day trip or go camping. Take advantage of the long weekend to explore nature, visit nearby attractions, or simply relax in the great outdoors.
In conclusion, if you’re wondering what to do on Columbus Day, there are several options to consider. Firstly, you can take the time to learn about the historical context of Columbus’s voyages and their impact on the world. Additionally, you can engage in meaningful discussions and debates about the controversial aspects of Columbus’s legacy. Moreover, you might choose to participate in cultural events or celebrations that commemorate the diverse cultures and contributions of indigenous peoples. Lastly, you can support local communities by volunteering or donating to organizations that work towards social justice and equality. Ultimately, Columbus Day can be an opportunity to reflect, educate, and engage in actions that promote inclusivity and understanding.