Spain’s Festive Prelude to Christmas

Spain's 'Long Weekend'

Day of Spanish constitution. Credit: nito/

Before the festive season really kicks in, Spain marks two important dates this Wednesday and Friday.

Spain celebrates two significant holidays, falling on a Wednesday, December 6 and Friday, December 8. These holidays create a long weekend, commonly known as the ‘Constitution Bridge’, leading into Sunday, December 10, writes Onda Cero.

Why is it called a ‘long weekend? Many people take the opportunity to also take the Thursday off too. For schoolchildren and students, this period is particularly enjoyable. With Thursday, December 7 declared a non-school day across all autonomous communities in Spain, they get a five-day break from their academic routine.

Celebrating Constitution Day And Immaculate Conception

Wednesday, December 6, is known as Constitution Day in Spain. Forty-five years ago, on December 6, 1978, the Constitution was born as a symbol of equality and freedom which the Spanish people voted overwhelmingly for. It laid the foundations to build the Spain that is known today.

Although an important day for Spain, reportedly most Spaniards treat is as just another day off. While most businesses will be closed, it is normal for cafes and restaurants to remain open. During this time roads are generally busy, with people travelling to see their families.

The Catholic Church also celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary herself as September 8, so they calculate nine months before her birth to be December 8. Hence, later this week, Friday will be celebrated as the Day of the Immaculate Conception.

On this day too many businesses along with schools, and government offices will be closed, but the day is marked with religious ceremonies and parades in cities and Catholic communities.

A Boost For Tourism And Leisure

This extended break is not only a respite for workers but also a boon for tourism. Most cities in Spain are already adorned with Christmas decorations, attracting visitors to admire them.

The festive atmosphere is further enhanced by traditional Christmas markets and shopping opportunities. Travel agencies have reported a 20 per cent increase in bookings compared to 2022, offering various packages to cater to diverse tourist preferences.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.