THE Murcia Region is celebrating its annual holiday today (Monday) to mark its gaining of autonomy status in 1982. But it is more than just a day off for schools and businesses.
Prior to the Day of the Region of Murcia (or Murcia Day), schoolchildren have extra lessons on the rich history, geography and culture of the area. Various other events include exhibitions, food and drink tastings, music concerts, communal meals and sports events. And the flag of Murcia is proudly flown from public buildings and citizens’ homes.
Murcia Day still has an effect on those that do not get involved, as only a small number of bakers and grocery stores open, and public transport is reduced too.
The area that is now known officially as the “Spanish autonomous community of Murcia” has been inhabited for thousands of years. Originally, the Kingdom of Murcia was an independent Islamic state and became part of the Almoravid Empire after the battle of Sagrajas in 1086 CE. Murcia became part of the Kingdom of Castile in 1243. Murcia then became an autonomous community of Spain on June 9, 1982.