Posted by Sammie
When Do You Get Time Off In Spain? A Great Guide to Spain’s National and Regional Holidays - information about both regional and national holidays throughout the country, focused on how Spain celebrates and explaining the significance of some of Spain's prominent holidays.
Preface: This article is about National and Bank Holidays in Spain and when they fall each year. It’s not about finding holidays in Spain for vacation. For more information about holiday vacations in Spain try EuroAdventures Spain (highly recommended). It’s a great idea as an expat living in Spain, to know a little bit about some of Spain’s holidays and important celebrations. Not only so you’ll know when you can plan your vacations and time off work but Spain’s Holidays are a time when you’ll experience a genuine taste of the country’s culture and history. Spain is a country filled with life and tradition and the more you know about Spain’s holidays the more connected you’ll feel to their customs and the better prepared you’ll be to celebrate in ‘Spanish style’.
National holidays in Spain are a time when the entire country comes together and gets involved in the festivities, so for the most part everything completely shuts down. This includes shops and banks as well as most cafes and bars. Holidays in Spain are taken on the exact day they fall whether that be midweek or weekend. The holiday is not moved to the Monday or Friday to create three day weekends as is often done in other countries. This means that a large percentage of people take days off, a “puente” (bridge), to create four or five day long weekends. For example, if a holiday falls on Tuesday everyone also takes Monday off, “bridging” their holidays so to speak. During puentes public transport is usually extremely busy and overpriced and if possible it’s recommended not to travel during these days.
Bank holidays in Spain are one of two types. They’re either regional holidays or national holidays. When there is a regional holiday it doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of Spain is on vacation, as well, each particular province has its own public holidays in conjunction with the national ones.
A Few Key Points To Note During Public Holidays in Spain:
- All public offices close
- All shops and 90% of commercial centers close
- About 60% of bars and restaurants are open as normal
- Reduced public transport services
- Museums remain open
- Extended opening hours at many attractions
- Reduced medical and emergency services
- There is the possibility of increased taxi fares and limited availability
General Holidays For Spain:
August is the time of year when most Spanish people take time off work. It’s not uncommon to find shops and businesses closed for the entire month (probably 70%) and many city dwellers travel to the country to stay with family and friends. August is also the month when most towns and villages have their ferias and fiestas.
In Spain, Sundays are a bad day to accomplish anything. Different autonomous communities have separate laws regarding shopping on Sunday, for example in Madrid the shops are open on the first Sunday of the month and closed the rest of the time. Most regions are more relaxed regarding Sundays opening in December for Christmas and Three Kings holiday shopping.
The short-list of National Holidays In Spain In 2007:
- January 1st - New Year’s day
- January 6th - Epiphany
- April 6th - Good Friday
- May 1st -Labor day
- August 15th –Feast of the Assumption (Asunción de la Virgen)
- October 12th—Spanish National Holiday (Día de la Hispanidad)
- November 1st - All Saints Day
- December 6th - Constitution Day
- December 8th - Inmaculada Concepción
- December 25th -Christmas Day