Europe

Spain celebrates first national day without government

  • Members of La Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish Army, sing during a military parade as they celebrate a holiday known as 'Dia de la Hispanidad' or Hispanic Day in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Almost a year into Spain's political deadlock, the country is celebrating its National Day with a military parade of over 3,000 soldiers marching through Madrid and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke in the sky to represent the flag.
(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    Members of La Legion, an elite unit of the Spanish Army, sing during a military parade as they celebrate a holiday known as 'Dia de la Hispanidad' or Hispanic Day in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Almost a year into Spain's political deadlock, the country is celebrating its National Day with a military parade of over 3,000 soldiers marching through Madrid and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke in the sky to represent the flag. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

  • People listen a Spanish anthem during a celebration for Spain's National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Thousands of Spaniards gathered in Barcelona on Wednesday to assert their right to be Spanish as well as Catalan in a protest designed to prove to separatists their position against splitting away from Spain. Catalan regional lawmakers recently approved to hold an independence referendum next September with or without agreement from Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    People listen a Spanish anthem during a celebration for Spain's National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Thousands of Spaniards gathered in Barcelona on Wednesday to assert their right to be Spanish as well as Catalan in a protest designed to prove to separatists their position against splitting away from Spain. Catalan regional lawmakers recently approved to hold an independence referendum next September with or without agreement from Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Spain's King Felipe, right, salutes as he reviews an honor guard at a military parade during a national holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Hispanic Day, in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Almost a year into Spain's political deadlock, the country is celebrating its National Day with a military parade of over 3,000 soldiers marching through Madrid and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke in the sky to represent the flag. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Spain's King Felipe, right, salutes as he reviews an honor guard at a military parade during a national holiday known as "Dia de la Hispanidad" or Hispanic Day, in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Almost a year into Spain's political deadlock, the country is celebrating its National Day with a military parade of over 3,000 soldiers marching through Madrid and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke in the sky to represent the flag. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

Almost a year into Spain's political deadlock, the country is celebrating its National Day with a military parade of over 3,000 soldiers marching through Madrid and aircraft drawing trails of red and yellow smoke in the sky to represent the flag.

Spectators defied the sporadic rain on Wednesday and lined the streets of central Madrid as King Felipe VI presided over the parade, accompanied by Queen Letizia and their daughters, princesses Leonor and Sofia.

This the first parade to be celebrated without a government in place, as the country approaches a year of political gridlock.

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