Public national holidays and important dates in Spain

Public national holidays and important dates in Spain

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Last update on July 25, 2018

Here is a list of Spanish national holidays 2018, plus Spanish school holidays, daylight savings, Mother’s and Father’s Days and regional Spanish bank holidays.

The government in Spain determines the Spanish national holidays each year, although Spanish bank holidays differ between regions. While each community must observe the set national holidays in Spain, regional holidays can be decided by local governments. In 2018 every region has a total of 12 Spanish bank holidays, of which eight are celebrated as Spanish national holidays and four are celebrated as regional Spanish public holidays or municipal days.

Spanish national holidays are busy periods, particularly if a holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday and employees take a ‘puente‘ (bridge) holiday of four days (dias festivos or vacaciones – holiday in Spanish). The government’s proposal to move Spanish public holidays to Mondays and avoid this practice has yet to materialise.

Bank holidays in Spain that fall on weekends are sometimes replaced with alternate days (usually the following Monday), if the regional government so chooses. More recently, however, alternate days have not always been given.

Regional Spanish holidays usually coincide with large Spanish festivals and can be a spectacular time to visit a new city and try authentic Spanish food. However, many of Spain’s festivals are world famous meaning accommodation fills up quickly and prices are inflated, so it’s important to book early if your trip falls over a Spanish national holiday.

Many businesses also close during the Spanish national and regional holidays. Each year you can check the Spanish holidays list on the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) – known as the ‘work calendar’ or calendario laboral – which is published around October each year, or see an interactive map of Spanish national holidays.

Spanish national holidays and public holidays in Spain

(N) – national holidays
(R) – regional holidays

Monday, 1 January: New Year’s Day (Año Nuevo) (N)

Saturday, 6 January: Epiphany / Three Kings’ Day (Dia de los Reyes Magos) (N)

Wednesday, 28 February: Day of Andalusia (R)

Thursday, 1 March: Day of Balearic Islands (R)

Monday, 19 March: Monday after Saint Joseph’s day (San José) (R) – Extremadura and Madrid.

Thursday, 29 March: Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) (R) – all regions except Catalonia.

Friday, 30 March: Good Friday (Viernes Santo) (N)

Monday, 2 April: Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua) (R) – Balearic Islands, Basque Country, Catalonia, La Rioja, Navarre and Valencia.

Monday, 23 April: St George’s Day (San Jorge) – Catalonia [not an official holiday].

Monday, 23 April: Day of Aragon / Day of Castile and Léon (R)

Tuesday, 1 May: Labour Day/Worker’s Day (Día del Trabajo) (N)

Wednesday, 2 May: Day of Madrid (R)

Tuesday, 15 May: Saint Isidore (San Isidro) – Madrid capital [not an official holiday].

Top Ten festivals in Spain

Monday, 21 May: Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (R) – Catalonia

Thursday, 17 May: Galician Literature Day (R)

Wednesday, 30 May: Day of the Canary Islands (R)

Thursday, 31 May: Day of Castilla-La Mancha (R)

Thursday, 31 May: Corpus Christi (Fiesta del Corpus Christi) (R) – Castilla-La Mancha

Saturday, 9 June: Day of Murcia / Day of La Rioja (R)

Sunday, 24 June: St John’s Day (San Juan) (R) – Catalonia.

Wednesday, 25 July: St James’ Day (Santiago Apostol) (R) – Basque Country and Navarre.

Wednesday, 25 July: Day of Galicia (R)

Saturday, 28 July: Cantabrian Institutions Day (R) – Cantabria

Wednesday, 15 August: Assumption of Mary (Asunción de la Virgen) (N)

Wednesday, 22 August: Festival of Abraham’s Sacrifice (Fiesta del Sacrificio) (R) – Ceuta and Melilla.

Sunday, 2 September: Day of Ceuta (R)

Saturday, 8 September: Day of Asturias / Day of Extremadura (R)

Tuesday, 11 September: Day of Catalonia (Fiesta Nacional de Catalunya) (R) – marks the anniversary of the recapture of Barcelona in 1714.

Saturday, 15 September: Day of the Bien Aparecida (patron saint) (R) – Cantabria

Tuesday, 9 October: Day of Valencia (R) – a historical commemoration of the date in 1238 when King James I officially entered the city of Valencia and freed it from Moorish rule.

Friday, 12 October: Spain’s National Day / Columbus Day (N)

Thursday, 1 November: All Saints’ Day (Fiesta de Todos los Santos) (N)

Friday, 9 November: Virgin of Almudena (Virgen de la Almudena) – Madrid capital [not an official holiday]

Thursday, 6 December: Spanish Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) (N)

Saturday, 8 December: Immaculate Conception (La Immaculada) (N)

Tuesday, 25 December: Christmas (Navidad) (N)

Wednesday, 26 December: Saint Stephen’s Day (R) – Catalonia.

Important dates and Spanish holidays

Monday, 19 March: Father’s Day (coincides with St Joseph’s Day).

Sunday, 25 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts.

Sunday, 6 May: Mother’s Day (Dia de la Madre) – first Sunday in May.

Sunday, 28 October: Clocks go back one hour (DST ends).

Wednesday, 31 October: Although All Saints’ Day on 1 November is more important in Spain, some people celebrate Halloween.

Spanish school holidays

The academic year in Spain is from mid-September to mid-June. There are three terms of approximately 11 weeks:

  • mid-September to December (then a two-week holiday);
  • after Epiphany to Easter (then two-week holiday);
  • after Easter to mid-June (then a 10 to 12-week holiday).

Schools are closed on public and local religious holidays. Check with the website of your autonomous community or school for exact dates for 2018.