December in SpainSpanish Constitution Day on December 6
Each month, the Spanish workweek is disrupted by one national holiday. In December, leading up to Christmas, there are 2 holidays celebrated. The first is on the 6th of December, Día de la Constitución (Constitution Day) and the second is on the 8th of December, a religious holiday, Feast Day of Immaculate Conception of Mary (La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María).
With 2 holidays so close together, people often take the few days off, known as a “Puente” or bridge. This year, in 2021, the 6th falls on a Monday so everyone will be enjoying an extra long weekend!
Now for a bit of history …
The year 1812 marked the start of Spain’s constitutional history. Generally, Spain has been run in the form of a Monarchy. The dictatorship period of Francisco Franco was from 1938 to 1978 and is possibly known as Spain’s most notorious period.
Following the death of the Franco in 1975 and a general election in 1977, the Spanish Parliament drafted and approved the new “Constitution”. This was an important step in Spain’s transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
Los Padres de la Constitucion, (the Fathers of the Constitution), is the name given to the seven-member panel chosen to work on the draft of the Constitution. These members represented a wide, and often divided, political spectrum within the Spanish parliament. They are: Gabriel Cisneros (1940-2007), Miguel Herrero y Rodríguez de Miñón (1940-), Manuel Fraga Iribarne (1922-2012), José Pedro Pérez-Llorca (1940-), Gregorio Peces-Barba (1938-2012), Jordi Solé Tura (1930-2009), Miquel Roca Junyent (1940-).
The Constitution was approved by the Spanish Parliament on October 31, 1978. It was supported by 88% of the Spanish people who voted in a referendum on December 6, 1978.
The Constitution came into effect on December 29,1978. Since that date, December 6 has been recognized as a National Holiday in Spain .
Feliz dia de la constitucion!
Un puente (a bridge holiday) …
December 8 is a religious Holy Day of Obligation according to the Catholic Church. It is the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (La Inmaculada Concepción de la Virgen María). The reason for this date is that Pope Pius IX issued a document stating the importance of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church on December 8, 1854.
Many people think the Immaculate Conception is referring to the conception of Christ through the Holy Spirit. That is actually celebrated on 25th March. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception refers to the belief that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was conceived without sin and that God chose her to be Jesus’s mother. Many Christians and Catholics attend special church services on this day and it is a national bank holiday in many countries, although not in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.