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Spanish local events and festivities

Public Holidays in Spain

Spain’s national feast days are the same every year, although national public holidays may change according to whether the feast day falls on a Sunday or not. Also, each Autonomous Community may also choose either Father’s Day (March 19th) or Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) as a public holiday, as well as celebrating one “Community Day”, which the Autonomous Community of Madrid celebrates on the 2nd of May. Furthermore, each town or city has its own feast days to commemorate its patron Saints. In the city of Madrid these are 15th May (San Isidro) and 9th November (Almudena), although the holidays may be changed if these dates fall on a Sunday. Note that Easter is a “movable” feast, celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Spring equinox of March 21st. Good friday is always a bank holiday, Easter Monday is not.

In general, public holidays are as follows.

Public holidays
January 1New Year’s Day (national holiday)
January 6Epiphany (national Spanish Christmas Day)
March 19Father’s Day (Madrid community and some others)
May 1Labour Day (national)
May 2Fiesta de la Communidad (Madrid community only)
May 15San Isidro (Madrid capital only)
August 15Feast of the Assumption (national – in Madrid called Virgin de la Paloma)
October 12Spain’s National Day (national – called Dia de la Hispanidad)
November 1All Saints Day (national)
November 9Almudena (Madrid capital only)
December 6Constitution Day (national)
December 8Feast of the Immaculate Conception (national – this year falls on Sunday)
December 25Christmas Day (national)

On public holidays, all shops and banks are closed. Taxis will add a small surcharge to the fare on these dates. If the public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, you will find many Spaniards talking about “doing a bridge” (haciendo puente). This involves taking the Monday or Friday off as well in order to enjoy a 4-day long break. Most schools are closed on bridge days.