Calendar showing the bank holidays Spain celebrates in December

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Calendar showing the public holidays Spain celebrates in December

Guide to all the public holidays in Spain

DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY BANK HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN?

The Spanish calendar has a total of 14 public holidays throughout the year. But it’s not just as simple: 8 of them are for the entire country, 2 more are regional holidays (that some regions might share or not), then each town and city can choose two more holidays of their choice. Besides that, some celebrations (mostly some religious ones) don’t have a permanent date and move depending on certain things. That happens with Easter, but also with the end of Ramadan celebrated in the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa: the feasts of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha change month every 3 years, so I won’t be including them below, but I included the links above so you can check the dates if you are visiting the area.

In the other hand, even fixed holidays can be moved if they fall on a Sunday, so Spaniards can still enjoy a day off. And that’s decided by the regional government, so what’s true for one area of Spain might not be a holiday somewhere else. The public holiday can be pushed to the next Monday in order to get a long weekend, or it can be substituted by another regional celebration of their choice.

And that’s not all. If you have kids in school or college, educational centers also get to choose a few more extra holidays, and they are often used either for particular school celebrations or to get a long weekend. Talking about long weekends, in Spain it’s not unusual that when a holiday falls on Thursday or Tuesday people will also take Friday or Monday off, which is known as a “puente” (bridge). Bridge days are not officially bank holidays and it usually affects offices more than shops, and schools might choose them as one of their extra holidays as well.

What is closed on a public holiday in Spain?

  • Banks
  • Shops (florists, newspaper stands, bakeries, souvenir shops and small convenience stores may be open at least for part of the day)
  • Pharmacies (unless they are on call or open 24/7)
  • Schools
  • Offices
  • Public transportation might not run or run on a more reduced frequency
  • Tourists sites might be open, but sometimes they close or open only on a reduced schedule.
 

Spanish bank holidays in the Winter

1

January

The Fallas in Valencia are one of the bank holidays in Spain chosen by the local councils

For the purpose of this post we'll consider "Winter" months January, February and March. I know some people use the meteorological system that considers December 1 the beginning of Winter, but in Spain we usually use the solstice to talk about winter beginning. Solstice is end of December, so we'll start our list with the first trimester of the year for clarity sake. And January is an easy month to start with because there are only two holidays, both of them national public holidays:

January 1st

Where is it celebrated? National holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? The first day of the year. Some Spanish families get together for one more family meal, but it’s mostly a day to rest after the long parties of New Year’s Eve the day before.

January 6th

Where is it celebrated? National holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? Epiphany Day: the 3 Kings of the East arrived to Bethlehem bringing presents to Baby Jesus. Spanish kids get presents that day and families gather for the last meal before the Christmas season is officially over. You can learn more about the Day of the Three Kings in Spain in our blog.

January 22nd

Where is it celebrated? Local holiday in Valencia city.
What do we celebrate? The day of St Vicens Martir (Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of the city of Valencia).

Sundays with shops open

In general, shops must be closed on Sunday and bank holidays, but the Spanish law allows shops to open on some particular Sundays and holidays, and the regional governments have the right to add or remove some of them. Madrid and the Basque Country don’t regulate it and each business is free to decide if they’ll open or not, and in Ceuta it’s allowed to open every Sunday and holiday. 

For the other regions, all of them allow shops to open on the next Sunday after January 6th, being the first Sunday of the winter sales. A only handful of regions also allow to open on the Sunday before January 6th.

2

February

February 28th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Andalusia (Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, Malaga, Cadiz…)
What do we celebrate? The approval of the regional estate in 1778.

Martes de Carnaval (Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras)

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Extremadura. Note that Carnaval is celebrated all over Spain, but only in Extremadura it’s a day off.
When is it celebrated? The day before Wednesday of Ashes, which happens exactly 40 days before Easter. It usually falls in February, but some years it’s in March. See the dates for the next decades.
What do we celebrate? The end of Carnival, a week to feast before Lent starts and Christians will start a period of fasting and religious observance.

3

March

March 1st

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza).
What do we celebrate? The approval of the Estatut d’Autonomia (regional constitution) of the Balearic Islands.

Martes de Carnaval (Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras)

Floating date than occasionally falls in March (see February for more information)

March 19th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Valencia. It’s also Father’s Day in Spain, but it’s not a bank holiday anywhere else.
What do we celebrate? The Day of St. Joseph. In Valencia they celebrate it with the famous Fallas festival, where colorful carboard and wood sculptures are burnt in the streets. 

Easter holidays

Floating dates that occasionally fall end of March (see April for more information)

Spanish public holidays in the Spring

Spring in Spain is marked by religious celebrations, specially the Christian Easter and the holidays that stem from it. Also, with the good weather arrive the traditional local festivities that you need to take into account when traveling. And by the way, there's no April Fool's in Spain (the equivalent is December 28th, day of the Innocents).

4

April

April 23rd

Where is it a public holiday? Regional public holiday in Aragon and Castilla y León. April 23rd is also celebrated in Catalonia, but it’s not a bank holiday there.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Saint George.

April 26th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Sevilla.
What do we celebrate? Saint Isidore of Sevilla and the Feria de Abril.

Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday)

Where is it a public holiday? Everywhere in Spain except for Catalonia and the region of Valencia. In some regions shops are allowed to open that day.
When is it celebrated? The Thursday before Easter Sunday. See the dates for the next years.
What do we celebrate? Jesus celebrating the Eucharist during Last Supper, and the end of Lent.

Viernes Santo (Good Friday or Holy Friday)

Where is it a public holiday? National holiday – everywhere in Spain.
When is it celebrated? The last Friday before Easter Sunday. See the dates for the next years.
What do we celebrate? Jesus’ death at the cross.

Lunes de Pascua (Easter Sunday)

Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday)

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Navarra, Basque Country, Rioja and Valencia.
When is it celebrated? The day after Easter Sunday. See the dates for the next years.
What do we celebrate? The end of the Holy Week.

St. Vincent Ferrer

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in the region of Valencia.
When is it celebrated? Interestingly despite the day of St. Vincent Ferrer is April 5, this public holiday is celebrated on the second Monday after Easter Sunday. 
What do we celebrate? The life and miracles of this saint, a monk born in Valencia in 1350.

5

May

May 1st

Where is it a public holiday? National holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? Labor Day.

May 2nd

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in the Community of Madrid.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Community of Madrid celebrates the date when the Madrid people rised against the French domination in 1808.

May 15th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Madrid city.
What do we celebrate? San Isidro Labrador (Isidore the Laborer), patron saint of the city of Madrid.

May 17th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in the region of Galicia.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Galician Literature (Dia de las Letras Gallegas). On May 17, 1863 was published for the first time the book Cantares Gallegos by Rosalia de Castro, an icon of Galician literature.

May 30st

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in the Canary Islands.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Canary Islands celebrates the anniversary of the first session of the Canarias parliament in 1983.

May 31st

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Castilla la Mancha (Toledo).
What do we celebrate? The Day of Castilla La Mancha commemorates the constitution of the Regional Courts in 1984.

Segunda Pascua o Pasqua Granada (Second Easter or Whit Monday)

Where is it a public holiday? Local bank holiday in Barcelona city.
When is it celebrated? 50 days after Easter Sunday. See when is the next Whit Monday.
What do we celebrate? Christian Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.

Corpus Christi

Floating date that occasionally falls in May. See June below for more information.

6

June

June 9th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Murcia and La Rioja.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Murcia and the Day of La Rioja, both celebrating their regional constitution.

June 13th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Ceuta.
What do we celebrate? The Day of St. Anthony of Padua.

June 24th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Catalonia (Barcelona). It used to be a public holiday in the region of Valencia also, but it stopped being it in 2024 (although the complains and the decision of the town of Alicante of making it a local holiday may influence the politicians to have it back in 2025).
What do we celebrate? Sant Joan, the day of Saint John. The evening before locals celebrate the solstice with bonfires and fireworks.

Corpus Christi

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Castilla la Mancha (Toledo) and local holiday in Sevilla and Granada. You’ll also see Corpus Christi celebrations in many other Spanish cities even if it’s not a bank holiday there.
When is it celebrated? The second Thursday after Pentecost. Check here the next dates.
What do we celebrate? The presence of Jesus’ body and blood in the Eucharist.

Spain bank holidays in the Summer

In the Summer many villages and towns celebrate their "Fiesta Mayor", their main local festival, which was traditionally linked to a time of harvest. So if you are staying in a small town or visiting one, make sure to check with the local council to see if there's a public holiday while you are there, or maybe some other special celebrations even if it's not an official bank holiday.

7

July

July 25th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional public holiday in Castilla y Leon, Galicia, Navarra, Madrid and the Basque Country.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Saint James, patron saint of Spain.

July 28th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Cantabria.
What do we celebrate? The Dia de las Instituciones de Cantabria celebrates the approval of the Ordenanzas de Cantabria in 1778.

8

August

August 5th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Ceuta.
What do we celebrate? Our Lady of Africa.

August 15th

Where is it a public holiday? National holiday – Everywhere in Spain. Many local towns celebrate their Fiesta Mayor that week. if you are in Barcelona, don’t miss the Festa Major de Gracia.
What do we celebrate? The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (ascension to heaven) and the Virgen de la Paloma in Madrid.

August 19th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Malaga.
What do we celebrate? The Feria de Malaga and the liberation of the city by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487. The festival of the Feria, though, starts on the second Saturday of August – that’s many days of celebrations!

Dia de Cantabria or Dia de la Montaña

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Cantabria.
When is it celebrated? On the second Sunday of August.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the region of Cantabria (this land  was known as “Montaña” in the old days).

Aste Nagustia

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Bilbao.
When is it celebrated? The festival of Bilbao starts on the first Saturday after August 15th, and the last day (nine days later) is usually a bank holiday.
What do we celebrate? Our Lady of Begoña.

9

September

September 2nd

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Ceuta.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Ceuta celebrates the nomination of the first governor of the city in 1415.

September 6th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in the Basque Country.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Juan Sebastian Elcano, sailor who did the first circumnavigation of the Earth in 1519-1522

September 8th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Extremadura, Asturias and Melilla, and a local holiday in Salamanca and Malaga.
What do we celebrate? It’s a day of the Found Madonnas: Our Lady of Guadalupe in Extremadura (also Day of Extremadura), Our Lady of Covadonga in Asturias (also Day of Asturias), Our Lady of the Victory (patron saint of Melilla and Malaga) and Our Lady of the Vega, patron saint of Salamanca.

September 11th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Catalonia (Barcelona).
What do we celebrate? The National Day of Catalonia, also known as La Diada, celebrates the defeat of the Catalans against the Spanish troops in 1714.

September 15th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Cantabria.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Virgin of Bien Aparecida.

September 17th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Melilla.
What do we celebrate? The foundation of the city with the conquest of the area in 1497.

September 24th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Barcelona city.
What do we celebrate? Our Lady of Mercy, patron saint of Barcelona. The celebrations last several days.

Spain public holidays in the Fall

In the old times the fall was a busy time for the farmers: first the grapes harvest, then the pig slaughters... and then came the time to rest and celebrate the arrival of Jesus on Earth. All this has led to a number of public holidays in Spain that make the return to work after the Summer holidays an easier transition. BTW, December 31st is not a bank holiday but a lot of tourist sites close earlier that day, so plan your sightseeing accordingly!

10

October

October 9th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional public holiday in Valencia.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Autonomous Community of Valencia celebrates the arrival of King James I of Aragon to Valencia.

October 12th

Where is it a public holiday? National bank holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? The National Day of Spain, “Dia de la Hispanidad” is also the day of Our Lady of Pilar, patron saint of hispanity and Saragossa. 

11

November

November 1st

Where is it a public holiday? National bank holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? All Saints day. Spain doesn’t celebrate Halloween: All Saints is a time to remember our dead and be with family.

November 9th

Where is it a public holiday? Local holiday in Madrid city.
What do we celebrate? Our Lady of the Almudena, patron saint of Madrid city.

Las Sunday of November

Shops are allowed to stay open that day even if it’s not a holiday.

12

December

December 3rd

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Navarra.
What do we celebrate? The Day of Navarra coincides with the day of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of the region.

December 6th

Where is it a public holiday? National bank holiday – everywhere in Spain. In some regions shops are allowed to stay open.
What do we celebrate? The Day of the Spanish Constitution, approved in referendum in 1978.

December 8th

Where is it a public holiday? National bank holiday – everywhere in Spain. Shops are allowed to stay open that day.
What do we celebrate? The day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, patron saint of Spain.

December 25th

Where is it a public holiday? National bank holiday – everywhere in Spain.
What do we celebrate? Christmas Day.

December 26th

Where is it a public holiday? Regional holiday in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
What do we celebrate? St. Steven’s Day (Boxing Day).

Sundays of December

Most regions allow shops to stay open during the Sundays of December.

From all the public holidays Spain celebrates, which is your favorite one?

Marta

Author Marta Laurent Veciana

AUTHOR BIO

Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

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