MADRID (AP) — 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.