World

King Felipe presides parade marking Spain's national day, Columbus' arrival in Americas

  • Demonstrators hold spanish flags as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    Demonstrators hold spanish flags as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

  • People sit at a bench as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    People sit at a bench as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

  • People are photographed next to Spanish flags as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    People are photographed next to Spanish flags as they celebrate a holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Spain's Hispanic Day in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The Monday holiday commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

King Felipe has presided over a military parade celebrating Spain's National Day during which 3,400 soldiers in crisp uniforms marched in central Madrid while armed forces aircraft performed a fly-past leaving trails of red and yellow smoke representing the Spanish flag.

Thousands of people lined the sidewalks of the Paseo de la Castellana boulevard cheering and waving flags as the king saluted, accompanied by Queen Letizia and their children, princesses Leonor and Sofia.

The Monday holiday is known as Dia de la Hispanidad, or Hispanic Day. It commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also Spain's armed forces day.

Soldiers from the country's many historic regiments took part and there were marches in other cities such as Barcelona and Pamplona.