Since we have had lots of requests for holiday trips (Christmas-New Year’s) lately, we thought it would be helpful to provide some information on the national holidays in Spain and what to expect as you consider dates for your upcoming trip.
December 6: Constitution Day
December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Since these days are so close, most businesses tack them together and make a long weekend out of it when possible. It is a popular time for Spaniards to travel.
December 24-25: Christmas Eve – Christmas Day
Only Christmas Day is an actual holiday and Christmas Eve is very much a family-oriented holiday with most shops closing at mid-day.
December 31 – January 1: New Year’s Eve – New Year’s Day
Similar to Christmas, on New Year’s Eve families will gather for a big meal and New Year’s Day is a full-blown holiday.
January 5 – January 6: Feast of the Three Kings’ / Epiphany
While Santa Claus is becoming more and more popular, traditionally Spanish kids await their gifts from the Three Kings on the night of January 5th, the eve of the Epiphany. Every town and city holds elaborate parades to welcome the Magi and you can feel the excitement in the air.
Some other notes about travelling to Spain around Christmas:
-Children are typically on vacation for the Christmas holidays from the last Friday before Christmas until the first school day immediately following January 6.
-Restaurants will sometimes stay open for the holidays although it’s always best to call ahead and make sure, and make a reservation if you can.
-Hotels will organize banquet dinners for guests for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s typical to stay up very late on New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year by eating 12 grapes for each toll of the bells and then partying in to the wee hours of the first day of the new year.
Holy Week falls on different dates each year according to the liturgical calendar. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are national holidays, but places like Seville will be mobilized for Semana Santa during the whole week. We personally believe it’s a special time to visit Spain, but do be prepared for crowds and a religiously-charged atmosphere.
This is a good link to learn more about Holy Week and the exact dates it will fall in the coming years.
In Seville, the colorful Spring Fair will usually be 2 weeks following Holy Week and lasts a full week.
May 1: Labour Day
The Corpus Christi festival falls about 60 days after Easter and is usually a holiday in most regions.
Most people in Spain take their vacations in July and August, sometimes up to a month at a time continuously.
August 15: Feast of the Assumption
October 12: Spain’s National Day
November 1: Feast of All Saints
While Halloween is gaining momentum, traditionally November 1 is a solemn occasion for Spaniards to remember their loved ones and visit cemeteries, etc.
There are lots of things to consider when deciding on dates for your trip (weather, vacation time, etc.) but we truly believe Spain is a destination that you can enjoy during any season of the year and no matter when you come, you’ll most certainly happen upon some kind of festival, party or celebration of some kind!
Remember, each region in Spain might have different, specific holidays. We’ll be sure to inform you of those holidays as well as advise you on the best time to visit as we work together to build your custom itinerary. Contact us today to get started on yours!