Is there a more colorful culture than that of the Spanish? From the joyful fiestas to the lively religious feast days, the Spanish sure know how to celebrate! And with so many holidays in their calendar, it's not exactly a surprise! If you're lucky enough to be in Spain during any or all of these holidays, you'll get a good glimpse of what the Spanish are really like. How the venerate a special day. How they pay tribute to a historic event. And how they practice their religion. The more you know about Spain's public holidays, the more you'll get to know the Spanish.
Pascua Militar (January 6)
Translated as 'Military Easter,' 'Pascua Militar
' is one of the most important national holidays in Spain. A day to pay tribute to the country's armed forces, it's mostly celebrated in Madrid. The monarch would review the troops at the courtyard of the Royal Palace and reward the notable military officers who've exemplified greatness in their positions. And it often follows with a grand military parade in the capital city. But don't think Madrid is the only place where it's celebrated. Other parts of Spain also pay tribute to the military in their own ways during this holiday, the most common of which is, of course, a fiesta
Easter Monday (Every March or April)
Similarly to France
, the UK
, and other European countries, Spain also celebrates Easter Monday. It's an extra free day right after Easter Sunday where families get to spend more time with each other before going back to work/school the next day. Held every March or April—whenever Easter Sunday is for the year—most Spanish banks
, government offices, schools, and more are closed. Families would hear mass early in the morning, with the elders often sticking around for further novena prayers and special services, and end the day with a grand fiesta. It will feel like Easter Sunday—or even Christmas!—all over again!
Labor Day (May 1)
Working in Spain
can be hectic. Though it doesn't have the biggest job market
in the world, it does have a strong corporate infrastructure, leading many to move here for work. And all those working in Spain deserve a holiday, right? Well, thank goodness for Labor Day! Celebrated every May 1, this one free day is for all the professional employees that help keep the country going. May go out during this day, whether drinking the finest wine
, eating the best Spanish dishes, watching football at a bar
, and many more! The sky's the limit for this one day off!
Assumption Day (August 15)
The Virgin Mary is one of the most important figures in the Roman Catholic faith in Spain. The Spanish are very keen on venerating the 'Mother of God,' which is why kids are taught to pray the Rosary at an early age. And it's also why the feast day of her Assumption is another important holiday in the Spanish calendar. A major festival in the country, most people celebrate it by holding processions in their respective communities. It's a sight to behold seeing statues of the Blessed Virgin, clad in ornate Spanish-style clothing, being paraded on in the beautiful streets of Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, and more!
Fiesta Nacional de España (October 12)
According to Spanish law, October 12 'symbolizes the historical anniversary in which Spain, about to conclude a process of State construction based on our cultural and political plurality, and the integration of the kingdoms of Spain into the same monarchy begins a period of linguistic and cultural projection beyond European limits.' And so when this day arrived every year, the county celebrates it as the 'Fiesta Nacional de España
.' While the US as the 4th of July and France has Bastille Day, Spain considers this day as the holiday to show one's patriotism and respect to the Spanish crown.
Constitution Day (December 6)
On December 6, 1978, the current constitution of Spain was formed. And so every year, the country takes the day off during this day to celebrate that momentous event. Ironically enough, many government offices stay closed on this holiday and most people hold fiestas left and right. At night, expect people to drink and eat to their hearts' content, most especially since this is one of the very few days where they get to let loose and have fun. Meanwhile, kids don't have to go to school and spend some time with their parents for the perfect family day.
Many people think that the Spanish are too laid back a people. Well, that's probably because the country has many public holidays wherein they get to take a break from work/school, spend quality time with family, and simply celebrate the fact that they're alive!
It's always better to celebrate a fiesta
when you're staying in a luxury home
! That's the way to go here in Spain!