Public Holidays in Spain

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There are 12 national public holidays in Spain. In addition, each region may set up to two additional holidays, which is particularly important for smaller ethnic groups such as the Basques. In addition, there are also local holidays in Spain in individual towns.

The 12 national Spanish holidays are:

New Year January 1st
Three Kings January 6
Maundy Thursday Thursday before Easter
Good Friday Friday before Easter
Labor Day May 1st
Saint John Day July 25th
Assumption August 15
America Day (Columbus Day) October 12
All Saints‘ Day November 1st
Constitution Day (of 1978) 6 December
Mary’s conception December 8
Christmas Day December 25

If a day falls on a Sunday, there is an additional holiday. This can be for example the 19th of March (San Jose day). Sometimes bridge days are simply declared as additional holidays. During bridge days (Puentes) between the holidays and the weekend (e.g. Tuesday holiday, then Monday is bridge day) in Spain not much goes. Many companies and authorities make a long weekend. But the bigger shops are all open and full, because many people use such a free day, similar to Germany, for shopping.

The regional holidays are very important, for example, in Catalonia (in the north: capital Barcelona) and in the Basque Country, because then some important celebrations can be celebrated.

Christmas in Spain (Navidad): Gifts are traditionally given on the 6th of January and not on the 24th or 25th of December. However, the western way of life has a strong influence on this tradition, so that today in many families the gifts are already given on the 25th of December in the morning or there are twice (25.12 and 6.1) gifts. The big day for the retail trade when the shops are full with longer opening hours (often until midnight) is 5.1.

Easter in Spain (Pascua): This festival is even more important in Spain than in Central Europe. At least the Thursday and the Friday before Easter are holidays, in some regions also the Easter Monday. Those who come to Spain over Easter should therefore be prepared for many holidays and very limited shopping possibilities.

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