Public Holidays in Spain – An Overview

Many countries in the world have holidays throughout the year, and Spain is no different. In Spain, citizens enjoy varied and numerous public holidays. These public holidays can range from tributes to religious figures to reflection periods of the country’s history. This article examines the public holidays Spain observes and the specifics that each public holiday entails.

Legal System

The Spanish legal system has established several official holidays through the year. The celebration of these holidays has two layers. First, they are built into a prescribed legal framework that determines when they are celebrated and what activities are associated to that holiday. Second, each region in Spain may have its own customs for how the public holidays are celebrated.

Types of Public Holidays in Spain

Public holidays in Spain may be either national or regional. National holidays are celebrated throughout the entire country, while regional holidays are determined by each autonomous region. A region’s capital may also determine whether or not they will observe a holiday.

National Public Holidays in Spain

  • New Year’s Day
  • Epiphany
  • Holy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Labour Day
  • Assumption Day
  • National Day
  • Spanish Constitution Day
  • All Saints’ Day
  • Immaculate Conception Day
  • Christmas Day

Regional Public Holidays in Spain

Regionally-determined public holidays in Spain may vary across the country. In the Basque Country, for example, Basque National Day (Euskal Herriko Eguna) is celebrated on October 25th. Other regions, such as Valencia, may observe additional holidays that relate to their particular culture or history, such as Intangible Heritage Day.

Regulations Around Holidays

The Spanish government has outlined very specific regulations for both types of public holidays. National holidays are regulated under the General Workers’ Statute and require employers to pay their employees in the event that a holiday falls on a usual work day. Regional holidays, meanwhile, are governed by the Constitution, which states that each Autonomous Community will determine the holidays that are celebrated in that region.

Fiesta Time in Spain

In addition to statutory holidays, Spain is also known for its festive holidays. These holidays, called “fiestas”, mark special occasions – often religious, but sometimes historical or traditional – and are identified and celebrated either nationally or regionally. The most popular fiesta holidays in Spain are Carnival (Carnaval), Holy Week (Semana Santa), Feria de Abril, San Fermines (Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona, 2nd of May, Fiesta de San Juan, San Isidro and La Tomatina.

Common Celebrations and Traditions

Regardless of the kind of holiday observed, the celebrations and traditions that accompany them are similar. Candlelit religious processions, bullfights and concerts are common activities associated with holidays in Spain. Bonfires are also popular, with some towns even building huge papier-mâché figures for participants to burn.

Changing Nature of Holidays

In recent years, some of these holidays have evolved. For example, Immaculate Conception was traditionally a religious holiday but in recent years has become secularized, with citizens often using the day to catch up on shopping or to simply take a break from their daily lives.


In conclusion, Public Holidays in Spain depend on the region of the Country in which the holiday is being celebrated. The Spanish Legal System offers two tiers of holidays: regional/autonomous and national. National holidays fall into the General Workers’ Statute, while regional holidays are governed by the Constitution of Spain. The country’s festive holidays also provide numerous opportunities to observe cultural and national traditions. From religious processions to bonfires, spending a public holiday in Spain will be an experience you will never forget!

What is the maximum number of public holidays in Spain?

The maximum number of public holidays in Spain is 14 days.

What is the minimum number of public holidays in Spain?

The minimum number of public holidays in Spain is nine.

What are the public holidays in Spain?

The public holidays in Spain include:

1. New Year’s Day (Año Nuevo): January 1st

2. Epiphany (Día de los Reyes Magos): January 6th

3. Saint Joseph’s Day (Día de San José): March 19th

4. Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo): March 29th in 2018

5. Good Friday (Viernes Santo): March 30th in 2018

6. Labour Day (Fiesta del Trabajo): May 1st

7. Feast of the Ascension (Ascensión de Jesús): May 10th

8. Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi): May 31st in 2018

9. St. James’s Day (Fiesta de Santiago): July 25th

10. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Asunción de la Virgen): August 15th

11. National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España): October 12th

12. All Saints Day (Día de Todos los Santos): November 1st

13. Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución): December 6th

14. Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción): December 8th

15. Christmas Eve (Nochebuena): December 24th

16. Christmas Day (Navidad): December 25th

17. New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja): December 31st

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