How the Spanish celebrate the December ‘puente’.

Constitution Day Lights in Madrid Credit: Comunidad de Madrid Press Release

PRETTY much everyone in Spain excitedly anticipates the ‘Constitution Bridge’, the holiday which makes up two dates in December this week.

Why? Because these two ‘festivos’ (public holidays) mean that many get both days off work in the same week, and for a lot of people also make a bridge, a ‘puente’, of relaxation. 

So what do the Spanish typically do to celebrate these two days?  On December 6, ‘Día de la Constitución’ there are numerous events which take place around the country. The most prominent of these is the ceremony in Plaza de Colon, or Columbus Square, in Madrid. During this, Spanish soldiers raise the flag in the plaza to the sound of their beloved national anthem. There are always various high level politicians present at this event and is attended by many proud veterans. In the evening many buildings in the centre also light up in the colours of the Spanish flag. Alongside this, there is also the famous race in the Barajas neighbourhood, where participants run through the streets and pay homage to the Constitution whilst passers by cheer them on. Euro Weekly News spoke to Alvaro Perez from Madrid, who told us that his family always attend both of these events “without fail”, further explaining that “this day we celebrate and remember how democracy returned to Spain.” Carmen Carabantes, aged 62 from Guaro in Andalucia, told EWN that “the terrible Civil War (of Spain) was not so long ago. My grandma used to tell us of the horrors she endured and witnessed during that time, we do not forget so simply, and to celebrate the end of this, is massively important”. 

The other significant date during this week is December 8, on which Spain celebrates the Immaculate Conception of The Virgin Mary. For this Christian country, this date is central to their beliefs, as it marks the date when Santa Ana, the mother of Mary, fell pregnant and God preserved Mary from the stain of original sin, making Mary free from sin and therefore able to give birth to Jesus. On this day, many believers attend a special mass at church that marks this divine blessing, and it is, according to the Catholic tradition, the only day on which the priest may wear blue robes. 

These pre-Christmas celebrations are a great opportunity to go out and immerse oneself in Spanish culture, as well as learning about the history and beliefs of this country, alongside its proud people. 

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.


    • John Little

      07 December 2023 • 10:39

      Do me a favour, original sin, conception by magic etc etc. no wonder the world is in such a mess when we still have people in important positions who believe this rubbish. Remember not one scintilla of proof, just blind believe. Good way to run a country don’t you think ?

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