If living in Spain or planning on travelling to Spain in the near future, it’s important to be aware of the public Spanish holidays that will be taking place. Many Spaniards take their vacation time around these times, so tourist areas will be much more crowded than usual. Additionally, many businesses and services will be closed during these days.
How do the Public holidays work in Spain?
Spanish bank holidays are set on the national level, autonomous region level, and municipality level. This means that different areas of Spain may use slightly different dates for certain holidays.
Public holidays often have spectacle, parties, and large street fairs to celebrate them. If you plan on attending any of the festivals in Spain, be sure to arrive early and expect large crowds. Visiting certain holidays can be a great experience with lots of Spanish traditions and food.
Four day weekends
Four day weekends are discouraged by the government. If holidays fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, they are often moved to Monday or Friday. This way four day weekends are discouraged and more work can be done.
National Public Holidays in Spain
The National public holidays in Spain are:
- January 1 – New Year – Saturday
- January 6 – Dia de Los Reyes Magos – Thursday
- April 15 – Good Friday – Friday
- August 15 – Feast of the Assumption – Monday
- October 12 – National Holiday of Spain – Wednesday
- November 1 – All Saints – Tuesday
- December 6 – Spanish Constitution Day – Tuesday
- December 8 – Immaculate Conception – Thursday
January 1 – New Year – Saturday
During the new year in Spain, families often go to parks or open spaces and light fireworks. They celebrate it by singing around a fire or dancing in traditional clothing. They eat twelve grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock. Next to this, people toast with cava or champagne and have a big party until early morning.
January 6 – Dia de Los Reyes Magos – Thursday
The Three Wise Men (or Los Reyes Magos) are important during the winter holidays in Spain. They are the ones who bring Spanish children their gifts the night before the Three Kings Day. There are parades, food, music, and gift exchanges everywhere in Spain on the 5th and 6th of January. While some Spanish families have also embraced the Santa tradition in recent years, it is Los Reyes Magos who are the most important.
April 15 – Good Friday – Friday
Spain is a Christian country with many religious celebrations, and one of the most important is Good Friday, which falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death. The day typically includes services in churches or cathedrals, as well as processions that reenact the Passion of Christ from his condemnation to his burial.
August 15 – Feast of the Assumption – Monday
Catholic Spain celebrates the Feast of the Assumption. During this time, people often go to church and attend masses in honour of Mary’s assumption into heaven. Many contests and parties are also held during these days with fairs and feasts. While a “feast” isn’t necessary, there is a long-standing custom of blessing summer harvest crops.
October 12 – National Holiday of Spain – Wednesday
The national day of Spain is a celebration of the country’s culture and history. Each city often has a parade with floats, flags, and traditional clothing that will give you a fascinating view of Spanish culture. There is also fireworks and all sorts of activities for families and friends to enjoy together. There are many festivities across the country to honour these events.
November 1 – All Saint’s Day – Monday
All Saint’s day is a Catholic holiday that aims to remember the dead, particularly family members and friends. During All Saints Day, people have the day off work to celebrate with their families. If you are visiting Spain during this time, you can experience the holiday by joining Spanish families in cemeteries. They often decorate gravesites with flowers or hold special masses at churches.
December 6 – Spanish Constitution Day – Tuesday
The Constitution Day is a national celebration where the Spanish people commemorate the adoption of their constitution. It celebrates the fall of the Franco dictatorship in Spain and is seen as a day of democracy. The day is mainly celebrated with Spanish flags, speeches, and parades across the country.
December 8 – Immaculate Conception – Thursday
This day is a Catholic holiday in Spain that commemorates the Immaculate Conception of Mary. The Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic Church teaching that holds that the Virgin Mary was sinless from the moment of her conception. The holiday is celebrated by attending masses in honour of Mary.
Holidays by Autonomous regions and cities
Next to the national Spanish holidays, there are also holidays per autonomous region and city. These holidays are determined by the autonomous community itself, which might offer a different experience for visitors. Normally they can set up to three holidays a year, but this depends per region.