Pascua Florida Day is celebrated on April 2 every year. It commemorates the day that Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer, arrived in the area now known as the State of Florida. Receiving a royal charter to explore and conquer new islands, de León arrived on the island, which he named ‘La Florida’, on April 2, 1513. The name was derived from the Spanish Easter celebration known as ‘Pascua Florida,’ and in 1953 Pascua Florida Day became adopted by Florida’s legislature.
History of Pascua Florida Day
In February 1512, a royal contract was granted to Juan Ponce de León by King Ferdinand, giving him the authority to search for the ‘The Islands of Benimy.’ The contract stipulated that, for three years, he would have exclusive rights to the island in question, as well as any neighboring islands he discovered. He would also become governor of such islands for the rest of his life. However, he was required to finance the journey from his own pocket. With 200 men, de León set out from Puerto Rico on March 4, 1513, with a fleet of three ships: the ‘Santiago,’ the ‘San Cristobal’ and the ‘Santa Maria de la Consolacion.’
On April 2, 1513, the ships arrived on an island that de León named ‘La Florida’ after the Spanish Easter holiday which usually occurred during that time of the year, called ‘Pascua Florida.’ In Spanish, ‘Pascua Florida’ means ‘flowery festival’ or ‘feast of flowers.’
Pascua Florida Day became adopted by Florida’s legislature as an official holiday on April 2, 1953, at the suggestion of a woman called Mary A. Harrell, who was a Social Studies teacher in Jacksonville.
Pascua Florida Day is only celebrated in the state of Florida and, although there are no special commemorative acts that mark the day, it is a time to reminisce on the rich history of the state. The Governor of Florida often designates March 27 to April 2 as Pascua Florida Week. If April 2 happens to fall on a weekend, the commemorative holiday may be shifted to the preceding Friday or the following Monday.
Pascua Florida Day timeline
Juan Ponce de León is born in Santervás de Campos, Spain.
A royal contract is signed by King Ferdinand, granting de León authority to explore and conquer new islands.
De León arrives in Florida.
Pascua Florida Day becomes adopted by Florida's legislature.
Pascua Florida Day FAQs
Who is the governor of Florida?
The governor of Florida is Ronald Dion DeSantis, who was elected to office in 2019.
How many beaches are there in Florida?
With 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida has about 189 official beaches.
How many alligators are there in Florida?
The number of alligators in Florida is estimated at 1.3 million.
Pascua Florida Day Activities
Take a trip to Florida
If you’ve always imagined yourself lying on the beautiful beaches of Florida, here’s your chance. Take a trip to Florida and see the sights yourself!
Send a goodwill message
Send a goodwill message to show you’re in support of the celebration. Post something wonderful about Florida online and wish all Floridians a happy celebration.
Use the hashtag
Let others know about this historical holiday by sharing this article online. Remember to use the hashtag #pascuafloridaday.
5 Interesting Facts About Florida
Florida is incredibly flat
Florida is the flattest state in the United States, such that its highest point is the lowest high point of any state in the country.
Florida produces a lot of oranges
The state of Florida is the second-largest producer of orange juice in the entire world.
It holds a world record
The first scheduled airline flight in the world took off from St. Petersburg, Florida in 1914.
It’s highly populated
With over 21 million residents, Florida is the third most populous state in the United States.
Beaches are everywhere
You won’t find a place in Florida that’s more than 60 miles away from a beach.
Why We Love Pascua Florida Day
Who doesn’t love Florida, with its gorgeous beaches and palm trees? We love Pascua Florida Day because it celebrates the beautiful state of Florida!
It educates us about history
Most people are unaware of the history behind the places where they live. This holiday is a good lesson on history and a reminder of Florida’s roots.
It celebrates Ponce de León
This holiday is also a reminder of Juan Ponce de León. Thanks to him, the state of Florida has a name that’s almost as beautiful as its landscape.
Pascua Florida Day dates