Each year, in the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15, in recognition of Hispanic/Latino contributions, culture, traditions, and history in our great nation. This tradition started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Johnson. Thirty years later, the commemorative week was expanded by President Reagan to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, under Public Law 100-402.
Why September 15th? September 15 is the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Moreover, on September 16 and September 18, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days, respectively. Furthermore, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which celebrates the long and important presence of Hispanics in North America, also falls within this 30-day period.
Ways to Celebrate
Spanish 101. Following Mandarin Chinese, Spanish is the second most spoken native language with approximately 460 million native speakers. Try teaching some of the Spanish basics.
Host virtual Lunch & Learn sessions! Share the pioneers who helped improve public health or highlight Hispanic/LatinX scientists like Severo Ochoa, Mario Molina, Franklin Chang-Diaz, or Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go to space.
Share personal stories - learn some interesting things about our colleagues and appreciate hearing about their diverse experiences and how they help enrich our workplace culture.
Food is one of the best ways to explore a culture and sharing a meal is a great way to connect with others. Have a potluck and try a variety of the delicious food from a variety of Hispanic heritages. Why not try an in-person or virtual cooking class? Try collecting family recipes and create a Hispanic Heritage Month cookbook.
Music! Explore the countless Hispanic musicians and even try making your own instrument.
Learn to dance! Put on your dancing shoes and try the salsa, mambo, rumba, bachata, or merengue.
Art is vital to culture and vice versa. Learn more about Latinx/Hispanic Art and artists.
View the Smithsonian’s growing LatinX art collection.
Check out the National Hispanic Heritage Month Archives.