Why Should Columbus Day Be Celebrated

Why Should Columbus Day Be Celebrated? Exploring Reasons

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

As we near the yearly observance of Columbus Day, I cannot help but ponder the importance of this day in our past.

When I was young, I heard stories about Christopher Columbus and his brave journey. Now, I understand why it’s important to remember his exploration. 

But why should Columbus Day be celebrated? While it’s essential to acknowledge the complicated things about his legacy, I’ll share why we should still celebrate this special day. 

So, keep reading to remember the history of the time and what we can learn from it now.

Columbus Day: Why Should It Be Celebrated?

Columbus Statue

Columbus Day is a special occasion that honors the achievements of a great explorer from a long time ago. 

Christopher Columbus, this explorer, started the first European settlement in the New World. 

When Columbus arrived in 1492, it marked the beginning of history being recorded in America. 

“By celebrating Columbus Day, we honor the spirit of discovery that shapes our world and simultaneously engage in a deeper dialogue about the lessons we can learn from our shared past.”

Howkapow Gift Site

This event also brought the Americas and the rest of the world closer together, creating connections that changed the course of history. 

But what are the reasons why Columbus should not be celebrated?

Were Columbus’ Achievements A Positive Or Negative Effect?

In general, Columbus’ achievements positively affected the entire world. 

The Columbian Trade or Exchange, made possible by Christopher Columbus’s expedition to the New World, brought valuable resources to Europe.

While Europe benefited significantly, the positive effects were more pronounced in the developing New World. 

Some say Columbus discovering the New World was good because it started the Columbian Exchange and a new economy. However, looking closely, this idea could be stronger. 

“In all parts of the Old World and the New, it was evident that Columbus had kindled a fire in every mariner’s heart. That fire was the harbinger of a new era, for it was not to be extinguished.” 

Charles Kendall Adams, American Educator

His discovery caused many problems for Native Americans [1] and Africans, making their lives harder. 

Columbus’ actions triggered unintended consequences, raising questions about the true positivity of his achievements in a broader historical context.

What Influence Did Christopher Columbus Have On The World?

Christopher Columbus [2], a navigator sailing for Spain, is often credited with “discovering” America, although this isn’t entirely accurate. 

His voyages marked the start of a time when exploration, control, and colonization spread for many years. 

Historians have accused Columbus of starting the tragic genocide of the Arawak people in Hispaniola, and some see him as the initiator of the transatlantic slave trade. 

His impact is profound, shaping a complex legacy involving both exploration and the troubling consequences that echo through history.

Are All States Required To Celebrate Columbus Day?

Columbus Day Parade in Chicago

No, not all states are required to celebrate Columbus Day. Around twelve states do not observe Columbus Day. 

And in place of Columbus Day, some places officially celebrate Native American Day. 

Therefore, this diversity in observance reflects differing perspectives on Columbus’ legacy and an increasing recognition of the importance of Native American history and culture.

Find out the best day to visit the Columbus flea market here.

Why Isn’t Columbus Day A Holiday Anymore?

Columbus Day, once a widely celebrated holiday, has faced criticism for honoring a figure whose arrival brought suffering to Native Americans. 

The holiday’s association with oppression led to its decline. 

Several states and local governments have recently adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a replacement for this holiday to show appreciation for native populations and their heritage.

Also Read: Where In New York City Is The Columbus Day Parade?


What places don’t celebrate Columbus Day anymore?

Currently, 13 states no longer observe Columbus Day such as New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, and Iowa. 

It also includes Vermont, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.

Find out what time the Columbus Day parade will start here.

Why don’t Americans celebrate Columbus Day?

Columbus Day started to honor Italian immigrants who faced challenges in the U.S. 

While for many, it has become a symbol of the oppression and colonization experienced by Indigenous people, leading to reconsideration and changing attitudes toward its celebration.

But what’s closed in Massachusetts on Columbus Day?

What is Columbus Day known as in Native American culture?

In a symbolic move starting in 1992, the city renamed Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples Day.” 

This change was a protest against Europeans’ historical conquest of North America. 

It also highlights the losses experienced by Native American peoples due to diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation.

Where did Columbus assume he landed in 1492?

On October 12, 1492, Columbus’ expedition arrived at what is believed to be Watling Island in the Bahamas. He then spotted Cuba, which he mistakenly believed was mainland China. 

Later, in December, the expedition landed on Hispaniola, a place Columbus thought could be Japan. 

But when did the Columbus storm happen?

In A Nutshell

So, when celebrating Columbus Day, there’s more to consider than meets the eye. 

On one hand, we remember how Columbus started connections between different parts of the world, like a big trade. But it’s important to remember the tough parts, too. 

Columbus’ journey also caused many problems for those already living in those places and even led to bad things like the slave trade.

The real reason to celebrate Columbus Day is to learn from history’s good and not-so-good parts. 

By remembering Columbus, we’re thinking about his brave actions and what we should avoid doing.


Kimberlee Johnson
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