a statue of Christopher Columbus
An airplane flies past a statue of Christopher Columbus in central Madrid on 3 August 2011.Reuters File

Columbus Day is observed on second Monday of October every year to comemmorate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World on 12 October 1492.

Columbus Day is celebrated across North America, South America and Europe, but is known under different names in different regions. In Spain, the special day is celebrated as Fiesta Nacional de España (National Day of Spain) while in Italy it is commemorated as Giornata Nazionale di Cristopher Columbus (National Day of Christopher Columbus).

In several South American countries, the holiday is observed as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race). It is celebrated as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay, while in Argentina the day is held as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity).

The hashtag, #ColumbusDay, has been trending on Twitter since the morning of 12 October.

Here are 10 quotes to commemorate Columbus Day:

"Every ship that comes to America got its chart from Columbus." – American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected." – Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde

"When we first broke into that forbidden box in the other dimension, we knew we had discovered something as surprising and powerful as the New World when Columbus came stumbling onto it." – American Author Ken Kesey

"In all parts of the Old World, as well as of the New, it was evident that Columbus had kindled a fire in every mariner's heart. That was the harbinger of a new era, for it was not to be extinguished." – American educator and historian Charles Kendall Adams

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." – French author Andre Gide

"Columbus had all the spirit of a crusader, and, at the same time, the investigating nature of a modern man of science." – English writer Edmund Arthur Helps

"Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honoured by posterity because he was the last to discover America." – Irish novelist and poet James Joyce

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." –  English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking

"When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the while man came, an Indian said simply, 'Ours'." – American Indian author Vine Deloria Jr

"America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole." – American actor and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait