Spain has lots of bank holiday throughout the year, often accompanied by age-old traditions and fiestas. Here we outline the Spanish Bank Holidays for this year.
January 1st: New Years Day– after eating 12 grapes at midnight on December 31st and drinking lots of cava, today is a day of rest and recovery- and maybe a nice bike ride along the beach to kick start those healthy New Year’s resolutions! January 6th : Three Kings Day (Epiphany) The most exciting day of the year for Spanish children! During the night of the 5th, the Three Kings come from the east and deliver presents to them all while they are sleeping. Most cities and towns have a Three Kings parade on the evening of the 5th, which is great fun to watch, as sweets are slung into the crowds and all the children make a mad dive onto the ground to collect as many sweets as possible.
February 28th : Andalucia Day : Spain is made up of 17 autonomous regions, each with their own government. Andalucia became an autonomous region on Feb 28th 1980. Most cities and towns will have a civic ceremony with the singing of the Andalucian Anthem accompanied by the raising of the Andalucian green and white flag. Those special spanish bank holidays normally falls in Semana Blanca (White Week), a one-week school holiday when traditionally families went skiing.
April 18th : Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) and April 19th : Good Friday (Viernes Santo) are the two most important days of the Holy Week (Semana Santa). Easter Monday is only a public holiday in a couple of regions of Spain.
Daily processions take place throughout Easter Week, this year starting on April 16th Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos). On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, there are eight processions on each of those two days, so no matter where you are in the city, you can be guaranteed to see a procession somewhere somehow!
May 1st : International Day of Workers. Just as in many other countries, this day is marked by marches and demonstrations of unions and workers to vindicate their rights.
October 12th : The Spanish National Holiday a.k.a Columbus Day, Hispanic Day as it was originally started to mark the discovery of the Americas by Columbus, although these latter names are seen as politically incorrect these days. This day is marked by a military parade in the nation’s capital, attended by the Royal Family and most leaders of the federal and regional governments.
Nov. 1st :All Saints Day a.k.a The Day of the Dead
The most profitable day for florists in Spain! Traditionally this is a day when family members go to the cemetery to clean the tombs of their passed loved ones, arrange flowers and pay their respects.
December 6th Constitution day: This holiday commemorates the day that Spain became a constitutional monarchy after a referendum in 1978, when the majority of Spanish people approved the new Constitution after living under the dictatorship of Franco from 1939-1975.
December 8th Immaculate Conception Day: This holiday, together with the Constitution Day, is commonly known as the “puente” of December(the bridge) as people take extra days off work to make a ‘bridge’ to connect the two holidays for an extra- long weekend or even a week’s holiday.
December 25th Christmas Day- probably one of the quietest days of the year. Most bars and businesses are closed so plan to have a relaxing day with the family or go for a bike ride along the beach. (LINK TO OUR CHRISTMAS VIDEO)
December 26th Boxing Day: is only a public holiday in a couple of regions of Spain- Andalucia is not one of them unfortunately
December 28th– is not a public holiday but we think it is worthy of a mention- El Día de los Inocentes/ The Day of the Innocents– basically like the British April Fool’s Day- when people play practical jokes on each other. This can explain why you can see strange things like fake doggy doo and plastic cockroaches on some stalls in the Christmas markets!
Besides all of these Spanish Bank Holidays there are plenty of other festivals and fairs throughout the year that happen on non-bank holidays.