December in Spain

Spanish Constitution Day on December 6
Spanish Constitution Emblem

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.

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