Labour Day in Spain: Where is it a bank holiday?

Labour Day in Spain: Where is it a bank holiday?

Labour Day in Spain: Where is it a bank holiday? Image: Goelro, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

May 1 is Labour Day, but not all regions of Spain have a bank holiday. And what is Labour Day, anyway?

Now that Easter is over, some people will already be thinking about the next bank holiday. Labour Day, May 1, falls on a Sunday this year, which means that the holiday will be moved to Monday, May 2, in some, but not all, regions of Spain. However, those in Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Extremadura, Castile and Leon, Murcia and Madrid will be able to enjoy an extra day off. Other communities, including Alicante and the Balearic Islands, will have a working day as normal. May 2 also coincides with another local holiday in Madrid, the commemoration of the uprising of the people of Madrid against Napoleon’s troops in 1808.

Labour Day is celebrated internationally and is also known as International Workers’ Day or May Day. In Spain, it is known as Día del Trabajador or Primero de Mayo, and it was first celebrated in the country in 1889 following the Haymarket Revolt in Chicago in 1886. However, it did not become an official holiday until the Second Republic began in 1931, and it was made illegal under Franco (1936 to 1975). It was legalised again in 1977 and has been a public holiday since the following year, 1978.

Spain’s Labour Day usually sees well-organised, peaceful and effective protests and manifestations all around the country in which trade unions and workers have specific demands to ask of the government and their employers.

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Written by

Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • Alan Bowman

      29 April 2022 • 12:09

      You omit the more important fact that it is also Mother’s Day in Spain.

    • Michael Gare-Simmons

      29 April 2022 • 18:08

      There are 12 official public holidays (Bank Holidays) in Spain. But if the B.H. falls on a Saturday or Sunday you lose it. Another but, if a B.H. falls on a Tuesday you have the Monday as well and likewise if the B.H. is on a Thursday you get the Friday. They call it puente (bridge) so you can have a long weekend. My brother-in-law was an electrician as I was and I remember one year when Christmas day was a Saturday and Boxing day the Sunday, so for him it was work Friday and back on Monday. I always got two weeks at Christmas and spent it in Spain, only Christmas here does not really start till the 6th January , the day we had to go back to the UK.

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