We’ve taken you around the world to places like China and Brazil as well as Russia and Japan to educate you on some of the holidays celebrated in these regions. Our latest post in this series focused on Germany and Australia. Now let’s travel to Spain so you can prepare yourself for wherever your business travels may take you.
Spain – Business Travel Destinations reports that roughly 41% of people who visit Barcelona are there for business travel, and it is the third most popular location for international meetings. If you’re scheduled to visit the Barcelona area anytime soon, keep the country’s public holidays in mind before you book:
Note: 94% of Spain’s population is Roman Catholic and most of the holidays celebrated there revolve around faith and family values.
- What: Epiphany/ When: January 6th – Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day, is the end of the Christmas holidays. Although it is celebrated differently in many countries, Spanish children write to the Kings describing gifts they would like. Some families may not celebrate with presents on Christmas Day, but most families in Spain will exchange gifts on Three Kings’ Day. Banks, schools and government offices will be closed.
- What: Day of Andalusia/ When: February 28th – The Day of Andalusia or Dia de Andalucia represents February 28, 1980. This was the day of the referendum on the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia in which Andalusia was voted an independent community of Spain. Many celebrate by decorating with green and white flags. In some communities, schools are closed for a culture week. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, authorities may decide to observe the holiday on a different day. If February 28th lands on a Tuesday or a Thursday, businesses and government offices may also be closed on Monday or Friday.
- What: Joseph’s Day/ When: March 19th – St. Joseph’s Day is a day to honor Saint Joseph, husband to the Virgin Mary. In addition to a religious holiday, this is also a celebration of fathers. Many families attend church services to honor Saint Joseph and his legacy while others may spend the day celebrating their own father. If the holiday falls on a weekday, most business will be closed. Public transport will operate on a limited schedule and in some areas, there may be no service.
- What: John the Baptist Day/ When: June 24th – The life of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated each year in several cities, including Barcelona. Events may begin on the evening of the 23rd and continue into the 24th. Locals will often start bonfires or set off fireworks and stay up to watch the sunrise. A few larger events may cause heavy traffic or interruptions, especially in town centers.
- What: Assumption Day/ When: August 15th – Assumption Day celebrates the belief that God raised the Virgin Mary to heaven after her death. In Spain, this holiday is known better as the Day of the Virgen de la Paloma. For many, this holiday begins on August 11th and continues with a week of festivities, but the official holiday is when the week comes to a conclusion on the 15th. The only businesses you will find open are restaurants and bars.
- What: La Merce Festival/ When: September 24th – Every year, a festival is held in Barcelona to honor Mare de Deu de la Mercè, the Patron Saint. The timing of the festival changes every year, but usually lasts for about five days leading up to the 24th. Most businesses remain open during the festival, but the streets are filled with people, and constant celebrations can make travel difficult. Avoid travel by car or taxi during the festival.
- What: All Saints’ Day/ When: November 1st – All Saints’ Day is known as a day of remembrance and is one of the most well-known holidays in Spain. Many Spaniards head to their birthplace to place flowers on the gravestones of deceased loved ones. If you’re traveling in cities during this holiday, it’s best to stay off the roads on the evening of October 31st and during the day of November 1st, as they can be crowded with cars and often filled with vendors selling flowers.
- What: Constitution Day/ When: December 6th – December 6th marks the day a new constitution was put into place in 1978. It was an important day for Spain, most businesses and government offices will be closed and public transportation will run on a limited schedule.
Tip: Every community in Spain celebrates local holidays that may or may not be observed in other parts of the country. If you’re planning a business trip to Spain, it’s best to check out the complete calendar before you book so you can plan accordingly.