Carlsbad Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

What is Hispanic Heritage Month? It is a national celebration that honors the history, culture, and influence of past generations from more than 20 different Spanish speaking countries and territories.

Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 as a week-long celebration under President Lyndon Johnson. But in 1988 it was extended to a full month celebration by President Ronald Reagan. It runs from Sept. 15 until Oct. 15. Does it seem strange that the month starts on the 15th?

Sept. 15 marks the independence anniversary of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. There are other Hispanic countries that celebrate an independence day during this month. Mexico celebrates its anniversary on Sept. 16, Chile on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept. 21. Also, Columbus Day or Dia de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.

There are many ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage all year. Celebrate the culture by enjoying a traditional Hispanic dish, read about the different types of traditional celebrations, including music, dance, clothing, and other traditional elements. Some traditional dishes are Arepas from Colombia and Venezuela, ropa vieja from Cuba and pan dulce found in Mexico. To find these dishes and more checkout out our A to Z world Food database. It allows you to explore recipes and cultures of counties all over the world from the comfort of your own home.

History can be learned and enjoyed anytime. Learn more about the histories, cultures and contributions of different Hispanic communities. Visit a museum highlighting Hispanic culture. Did you know that you can check out a state museum pass and get free admission to many museums within our state? We have books and databases that can help you dive deep into the history of these countries.

Celebrating at home or in our community can be done by donating to an organization that supports Hispanic communities. Listen to Spanish music, watch a movie or television show in Spanish. Read a book written by a Hispanic author or something that highlights the culture and countries. You can support Hispanic-owned businesses. Learn to speak Spanish, or if you already speak the language help someone practice their conversation skills, or teach someone. We have a whole Spanish collection that includes music, movies, books and more. We also have several language learning databases. Another great way to support our community is by attending local Hispanic Heritage events. Each year we have events that do a great job of celebrating our local Hispanic culture and history.

Did you know the library has games for checkout? Traditional games are a great way families can celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. Dominos is a quintessential game played throughout the Caribbean. For many the game is a daily social event that combines competition with camaraderie. It is a family games since it is learned by children from their fathers, uncles, and grandfathers. Loteria is the Mexican version of Bingo, but uses images on a desk of cards. It is tradition to use small rocks, coins or pinto beans as markers. Loteria cards have become an iconic symbol in Mexican culture. If we do not have the game you are looking for make sure to request a new addition just like you would a best-selling book.

Part of our mission it to help preserve our rich cultural local history. We hope you find many ways at the library to do this. We are always looking to expand our services, programs, and collection. If there are ways for us to do that, please let us know.

This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: Carlsbad Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month