THIS YEAR the holidays fall tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday (8th) so keep in mind that some shops and banks may be closed over these days and things in general slow down – work-wise that is. The festivities have only just commenced.
So what are these holidays, both observed with an official day off?
Tomorrow December 6 is the Spanish Constitution Day
This nation-wide public holiday is always celebrated on December 6th and marks the approval of the Spanish Constitution by the Spanish people in 1978
This was an important step in Spain’s transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
Franco was head of state in Spain from April 1, 1939, until November 20, 1975. After he died, Spain needed a new constitution and political system and elections were held on June 15, 1977. After a new parliament was formed, a new constitution was drawn up and approved by 88 percent of the people of Spain in a referendum on December 6, 1978.
As a transition from a dictatorship to modern day Spain, the date marks an important anniversary. It is generally celebrated by people with a quiet relaxing day at home with family.
In recent years, however, the Constitution Day has become more popular for protest marches and political statements.
The day is seen as the start of the December holidays, concurring with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
The 8th of December is one of the purest religious feasts of the year.
The basis of the holiday is the Catholic belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was herself born sinless. More specifically, the doctrine states that she was born “without any stain of original sin.”
From early tradition, it is taken that Mary’s mother was Anne, now “Saint Anne,” and that her father was named Joachim. An angel is said to have appeared to Mary’s parents and informed them they would have a daughter whom “the world would honour.” It is also said that Saint Anne had earlier been childless and that she pledged Mary to God’s service from her birth.
The first celebrations of Immaculate Conception date at least to the 8th Century A.D.,
Special masses will be held on or near December 8 in Spain, and you may see images of Mary being paraded through the streets. Predominantly, however, Immaculate Conception is a day for the family to spend time together.