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Top 5 Things to do on Columbus Day

Updated on February 13, 2013

With Columbus Day right around the corner you are probably thinking to yourself,

“Big deal, I don't see what all the fuss is about, he didn't even discover America!”

Well, you're right but he is an important part of both American and European history.

Now check out these fun activities for Columbus Day...


#1 - Religious Conversion

Columbus strived to convert the indigenous people to Christianiy. For this activity you'll need to convert five people to Christianity. You can do this at a bus stop, gas station, airport or anywhere that you can legally and safely promote Christianity. You can print brochures (preferably with color pictures) and hand them out to strangers. Try to subtly rope them into a conversation about God or morality by appearing normal. For people that aren't interested you can simply talk louder. This activity is meant to celebrate Columbus' unrelenting quest to convert the indigenous Americans to Christianity. He wrote The Book of Prophesies in 1501AD to explain that the second coming of Christ wouldn't happen until Christianity was spread throughout the world. Finally, read aloud from the Book of Revelations in the Bible until you are confirmed crazy.


#2 - Mislabel Maps

Although he was full of ambition, Columbus was horrible at geography - now its your turn! This one is fun and possibly cheap if you are a AAA member. Get a hold of some maps of the world and some different colored Sharpie markers. Find Florida, USA and expand it into the Atlantic Ocean with whichever color marker you deem fit. Now start putting new names on all the states, countries and islands in the vicinity with one caveat, they should sound Asian. Put up completed maps in your room or give them to your friends (if you still have any). We cherish this tradition of inaccurately mapping the world as Columbus did so many years ago. Many believe this is why the land he colonized was named America instead of Columbia. Amerigo Vespucci correctly identified the 'New World' as a new continent and not South East Asia which Columbus was certain of. Even amidst overwhelming evidence that America was not Asia, Columbus insisted he knew better- proving again that arrogance is no substitute for accuracy.


#3 - No Hands

You'll need a jacket or a long sleeve shirt for this one, oversized is very effective. If you did this activity last year you're way ahead of me and are already wearing an appropriate top (Good job!). Roll your sleeves over your hands so nobody can see your hands. Try to make a sandwich with your feet and teeth. Bike without touching the handlebars. See how many activities you can do with no hands. This is how we remember the revolt and ultimate conquest of the Taino people. The Taino lived in what we now call Haiti and resisted Columbus' colonization of their land. After the Taino destroyed a Spanish fort, Columbus demanded gold tribute from all Tainos or they would have their hands cut off - ouch!

#4 - Be a Slave

Here's your chance to be humble and generous. You can do this with your roommate, partner, parent or friend! All you have to do is do their dishes or laundry or cook for them for free. If you really want to be historically accurate you should do some gardening; harvest some cotton or sugar cane to make your Columbus Day master proud and happy. We do a little slavery on this holiday to remind us that Columbus introduced encomienda (Spanish slavery) to the new world. Columbus believed that the natives would be good workers to help him colonize the Caribbean Islands in the name of the Spanish Crown.


#5 - Just Hang Out

This one is a double entendre: You must metaphorically hang-out with your friends while you are hanging from something. You can hang from a bar, a branch, a door trim or any other contraption that you can safely hang from. The goal here is to help resemble Columbus' former crew that he hung for disobedience! Columbus had promised them riches in the new world and his crew felt let down, demanding that the Spanish Courts hold him accountable. Columbus was a ruthless 'Christian' that would not tolerate such a betrayal. We can hang onto our memories of his violence through modern mockery – now go hang out!

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