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Spanish Constitution Day & Day of Immaculate Conception

By The Equalizer - Wed 2th Nov 2011

December the 6th in Spain is celebrated as Constitution Day in the majority of Regions, where offices and medium to large businesses are obliged to close to observe the fiesta.

With the day of immaculate conception also being celebrated as another official national fiesta just two days later, on the 8th of December, many Spaniards choose to take the 7th as an optional holiday aswell - especially when the 7th falls on either a Friday or Monday. This is usually referred to as a `Puente', or `Bridge', taken so that a long weekend can be enjoyed.

Spanish Constitution Day commemorates the ratification of the new constitution in 1978, following the death of Franco and the return of democracy to Spain.

The constitution was approved by the Cortes Generales on 31st October 1978, and by the Spanish people in a referendum on 6th December 1978, before being signed by King Juan Carlos on 27th December and coming into effect on 29th December - the day it was published in the Official Gazette. Constitution Day been celebrated as a national holiday on 6th December each year in Spain ever since.

The Spanish Constitution has been reformed twice since it's original inception.

Two days later, on 8th December, ‘La Inmaculada Concepción,’ commemorates the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and is celebrated as a holy day of obligation in the Roman Catholic Church. The date was established as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1476, by Pope Sixtus IV, and was defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Mary as the Immaculate Conception was declared as principal patroness of all the possessions of the Spanish Crown in 1760, and has remained the patron virgin of Spain since then.

As far as modern day Spain is concerned it remains a popular Bank Holiday, which is traditionally when many of the country's airports and roads are at their busiest. The wildcat strike by many of Spain's Air Traffic Controllers over the December Bank Holiday period 2011 caused Spanish airspace to be closed and ultimately be taken over by the Military, resulting in thousands of cancelled flights. A compensation claim by affected travelers is still ongoing, but could potentially cost the USCA Air Traffic Controllers union 100 Million Euros.

As far as the 2017 Fiestas are concerned, Friday the 8th December remains a National Holiday, however Wednesday the 6th will not be recognized as a fiesta by Andalusia; Aragon; Asturias; Ceuta & Melilla; Castile-Leon; Extremadura; La Rioja; Madrid; Murcia and Valencia.

Not only will there be no 'Puente' in 2017, but many Regions are choosing to take their fiesta allocation at other times during the year.

Comment on this Blog

Peter : As you are the Employer, you can certainly work - especially as you are offering a service that could be required during the Holiday. As far as your employees are concerned, it probably depends on the terms of their contract, but I can't imagine that asking them to work will be particularly well received !
The Equalizer - Sat, 6th Dec 2014
As a self-employed plumber, is it therefore illegal for me to work on either of these days - or my staff - or both ?
Peter - Wed, 3rd Dec 2014
England (Not the UK !) has 8 Bank Holiday per year, so like-for-like with Spain..... except for the fact that Spain also observes Regional, Local (and in some case Provincial) Fiestas aswell !!
Tyler - Thu, 6th Dec 2012
Robster : For 2013 the number of NATIONAL Fiestas hs been reduced from 8 to 7, but as from 2014 the "Puente" has been knocked on the head.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue, 4th Dec 2012
I though Rajoy was supposed to be knocking the time-honoured tradition of "Having a 'Puente' " on the head ?
Robster - Fri, 30th Nov 2012

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