Columbus Day – spirit of discovery
Celebrated on the second Monday in October, Columbus Day will be on the Ninth of October this year. In recent years, the holiday has received negative attention because of the experiences of the Native American. Some states have even opted to celebrate Columbus Day as “Indigenous People’s Day” or “Native American Day.” The holiday is becoming a day to celebrate both the spirit of discovery Columbus exhibited and the strength of the Native American peoples who suffered such devastation from his arrival.
How do we celebrate Columbus Day? Of course, there are the re-enactments – especially popular in grade school children representing both Columbus and, more recently the Native American, put on pageants for parents to enjoy. There are towns that hold parades in honor of the discoverer and/or the Native American, and, in fact, New York City’s Columbus Day Parade marches right up Fifth Avenue in front of over one million spectators. To round out the day, many households continue the celebration with having Italian cuisine for dinner. Some join in a Native American lament.
That he was a deeply religious man as is evidenced by religious rites observed by the ships’ crews; and it is purported that Christopher Columbus was a man never given to profanity and his crew was said to have sung vespers every evening. Whether you revile him as the bane of the Americas or see him as an intrepid explorer for his country, Columbus was a discoverer in his place and time, and a man of great faith. In fact, Columbus was nominated for sainthood, but was disqualified because he had fathered a child out of wedlock.
Columbus Day – strengthen your fate
So, how does one prepare for a day like Columbus Day? Celebrate the spiritual aspect of the man and the Native American. Both Columbus and the Native American peoples found strength in their faiths. So, why not use Columbus Day as a day to celebrate and strengthen your faith. Do a simple meditation on what you believe in, engage in prayers with others who believe as you do, use sage to help lift your prayers or to cleanse, say a prayer for healing for Mother Earth and all who walk upon her.
Whatever your beliefs, this unique holiday celebrates the explorer in all of us. Columbus may not have been the first white man to arrive on the shores of the Americas, but he was the first that history remembered for a long time, and he proved the great Atlantic could be crossed and a successful return trip achievable. When you make plans for the day, set aside time to find the great explorer in you!
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