Spanish Culture

Dates of Significance

National Days

  • New Year’s Day (1st of January)
  • Epiphany (6th of January)*
  • Easter Holy Week – Semana Santa
    • Holy Thursday (Varies each year)
    • Good Friday (Varies each year)
    • Easter Sunday (Varies each year)
  • Labour Day – Worker's Day (1st of May)
  • Assumption of Mary (15th of August)
  • Spanish National Day (12th of October)
  • All Saint’s Day – Fiesta de Todos los Santos (1st of November)
  • Spanish Constitution Day (6th of December)
  • Immaculate Conception (8th of December)
  • Christmas Eve – Nochebuena (24th of December)
  • Christmas Day – El Dia de Navidad (25th of December)
  • New Year’s Eve – Nochevieja (31st of December)

* Epiphany has particular cultural significance in Spain. Christmas celebrations begin on Christmas Eve (24th of December) and continue all the way until the 6th of January, when most children open their presents. Epiphany is the traditional gift-giving day as it commemorates when the Three Kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. There are other traditional gift-giving figures in other parts of Spain, such as the Basque coal man (olentzero).

Regional Holidays

  • Ash Wednesday (First Day of Lent)
  • St. Joseph’s Day – San Jose (19th of March) 
  • St. George’s Day – Sant Jordi (23rd of April)
  • Feast of St. Isidro (15th of May)
  • Whit Sunday (Varies each year)
  • Corpus Christi (Varies each year)
  • Feast of St. Anthony – San Antonio (13th of June)
  • St. John’s Day – San Juan (24th of July)
  • Feast of St. James (25th of July)
  • Our Lady of Africa (5th of August)
  • Virgin of the Victory – Day of Extremadura – Day of Asturias (8th of September)
  • Lady of Aparecida (15th of September)
  • Our Lady of the Almudena (9th of November)
  • Feast of St. Francis Xavier (3rd of December)
  • St. Stephen’s Day (26th of December)

There are many more regional festivals and celebrations (fiestas) throughout Spain. One of the most famous festivals is ‘La Tomatina’, a huge tomato fight in the streets of Valencia. Fire (foc) is often an integral part of many fiestas. Some towns may have ‘correfoc’ (fire runs). It is also a Catalonian tradition for people to make human towers – ‘castells’ (castles) – with the top person being a child.

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