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General Comments on Holidays in Spain

Translation of our weekday designators:
lun:= lunes = Monday; mar:= martes = Tuesday; mié:= miércoles = Wednesday; jue:= jueves = Thursday; vie:= viernes = Friday; sáb:= sábado = Saturday; dom:= domingo = Sunday.

Holidays and English Translation
castellano ingles (English)
día de año nuevo New Year's
los Reyes Magos three Magi, "Twelfs Day"
día San José St. Joseph's Day
Viernes Santo Good Friday
domingo y lunes de PasuaEaster Sunday and Monday
día de mayo May Day, i.e. Labor Day
Asunción Ascencion Day
fiesta nacional, día de la hispanidadNational Holiday
Todos los Santos All Saints Day
día de constitución Constitution Day
Concepción Imaculata Immaculate Conception Day
navidad Christmas Day
día San Stefano St.Steven's Day
*día de Madrid Madrid Day
*día San Isidro St.Isidro's Day
*día Almudena Almudena Day
*día San Jordi St.Jordi's Day
*día de Cataluña Catalonia Day
*día Merced Merced Day
*día municipal en ValenciaValencia City Day
*el puente Monday or Friday bridge (see below)

Asterisk (*, and gray in our calendars, denotes one of the following, local, legal holidays. Observed in Madrid are thus Madrid Day, St.Isidro's Day, and Almudena Day. Observed in Barcelona are St.Jordi's Day, Catalonia Day, and Merced Day. Observed in Valencia is the Valencia City Day.

Also marked with asterisk is the Monday or Friday "bridge" when many businesses are closed. That is on the Monday that happens to immediately precede a legal holiday or on the Friday immediately following a legal holiday.

The heading castellano in the table above is the frequently used name of the Spanish language. In use also is catalán, the major language of cataluña (Catalonia) and one that enjoys a great tradition and literature rooted in the 13th and 14th centuries.

It is useful for the traveler to be aware that die Semana Santa and the month of August are the main travel seasons in Spain. This Holy Week is the week ending with Easter Sunday. Of course, Easter Monday is holiday also. Expect the same on long weekends. All these affect traffic in popular vacation areas, such as the Costa del Sol, and the vicinity of the big cities.

Also, there is considerable influx of French tourists in August, German tourists during their school vacations, q.v. German calendar, and Swedish tourists.

For those of you traveling by personal car or rental car (coche de alquiler), beware the accident statistics and the fact the required level of driving skill and education are substantially higher in Europe, and the average traffic density is 1.6 times that in the USA.
CountryDeaths per million registered motor veh.Injuries per 100 million vehicle-km
D (Germany)2392.0
USA 2571.1
E (Spain) 6244.2
P (Portugal)10087.5
from UN Publ. 0497-9575 (1995)

Let us recommend for your own benefit to read our pages Signs logo on international traffic signs, laws, and rules:

Change to and from summer time: These two Sundays are marked peru brown in our calendars. Notice that for the spring date, the last Sunday in March is assumed to continue beyond 1997, which is yet uncertain as of this writing (20.10.97).

¡Viajar en españa, sea usted muy felices!
Es un país muy bonito,
y va ver los españoles saben vivir.

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