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When is Hispanic Heritage Month? What you need to know

Every year, Hispanic and Latino culture is celebrated between two months.
New York City: The 54th Hispanic Day Parade marches up Fifth Avenue on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Thousands of Hispanic New Yorkers participated and viewed the colorful Cultural Parade in Midtown, Manhattan.
TODAY Illustration / Ryan Rahman / Alamy Stock Photo
/ Source: TODAY

Hispanic Heritage Month is just around the corner.

Every day is a wonderful time to spotlight the contributions of the Hispanic and Latino communities, but between two months, it is celebrated on a national level.

Before it was a month-long celebration that embraces the culture, history and people of Latin and Hispanic heritage, it was only celebrated for a week.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was later expanded to a whole month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

When is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed between September 15 and October 15.

The month highlights American citizens whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, while elevating their culture and history.

Why is it celebrated between September and October?

While you can check out our full run-down on the heritage month, the heritage month is split between the two months for a very good reason.

September 15 is the anniversary of the “Grito de Dolores” or the Cry of Dolores, according to Carlos Olave, head of the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress. The Grito marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence in 1821 and is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. (Mexico and Chile additionally celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18.)

Columbus Day also falls between Hispanic Heritage Month. However, as the explorer has become more controversial, Spanish-speaking countries also celebrate “Día de la Raza” or “Day of the Race” on Oct. 12.

Be sure to follow as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with traditional recipes, children’s books and other books by Latino authors, as well as Latino-owned beauty brands and more contributions from Latino voices.