Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Filed in American Culture by on September 27, 2017 0 Comments

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Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States each year beginning on September 15, marking the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Independence Day for Mexico, Chile, and Belize follows shortly after, on September 16, 18, and 21, respectively. The holiday continues through October 15.

According to the celebration’s official website, Hispanic Heritage Month “pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.”

The month celebrates the contributions Latino and Hispanic Americans have made to the United States, primarily focusing on the arts and culture. It is therefore supported by The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. This year, actor and director Gael García Bernal, engineer Alba Colon, and singer-songwriter Luis Fonsi were honored at the 30th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards.

Before it became the month-long event it is today, the celebration began as Hispanic Heritage Week, established by Congress and put into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. The commemorative week was later expanded into a full month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

You can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in your local community—there are events taking place from coast to coast throughout the entire month. The Texas region has a comprehensive list of events, Arizona has a number of festivals, and New York is ending its celebration with a large parade in New York City.

In addition to the local celebrations all throughout the country, one of the event’s sponsors—The Smithsonian Institute—will be hosting Hispanic art, dance performances, and natural history exhibitions throughout its museums in Washington, DC. The National Museum of American History, for example, will be displaying a costume worn by famed Mexican-American entertainer Selena during the month.

How will you be honoring Hispanic Heritage Month this year? Share in the comments below.

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