Why are December 6 and 8 public holidays in Spain?

Why are December 6 and 8 public holidays in Spain?

No matter who we ask, they will tell us that our Constitution It is an imperfect work. And you may be right. However, something that is also indisputable is that, despite its possible flaws, our Constitution marked a radical and transformative turn in the history of our country, establishing us as a parlamentary democracy comparable to those of the rest of the democracies in our environment (also very imperfect, on the other hand).

This fact is especially relevant these days, when we are just a few hours away from Wednesday, December 6, 2023, when we Spaniards will commemorate the Day of the constitution. We will celebrate it on this date, because it was precisely on December 6, 1978 when the referendum was held with which the Spaniards gave their approval to the norm that would govern, from then on, the organization and functioning of public institutions, as well as the limits to which they would have to limit their activity.

Poster calling for the vote in the constitutional referendum of December 6, 1978larazon

In other words, it is a day that we commemorate not only for its Historical importance but also for its current and future meaning, since it is a reminder of the democratic principles that should govern our society, as well as the constant efforts that citizens must make to maintain the integrity of our democracy against those who seek to undermine it.

Two national holidays

The celebration of Constitution Day on December 6, 1979, just one year after the constitutional referendum, may have seemed somewhat premature and eccentric. For this reason, it was not until five years later, in 1983, when it became possible to look at that milestone with the necessary perspective to recognize the Historical importance of that day in December 1978. Therefore, Royal Decree 2964/1983 of the Government of Felipe González marked that date on the calendar as a day National festive.

Possibly, by declaring this holiday, the intention was to push the Spaniards to reflect on the role that Carta Magna would play in the future of Spain and the Spanish people. However, year after year and since its first celebration, for a large part of the population, Constitution Day has meant one thing and one thing only: puente.

Constitution Day always coincides with another national holiday: Immaculate Conception's Day, which is celebrated on December 8. Both days are national holidays, so all autonomous communities enjoy these days of rest. Most citizens take advantage of these days to decorate the Nativity scene and the Christmas tree or to do Christmas shopping.

Exterior of the Congress of Deputies on the day of the swearing-in of the Constitution of the Princess of Asturias
Exterior of the Congress of Deputies on the day of the swearing-in of the Constitution of the Princess of Asturias Gonzalo Perez MataThe reason

However, for those workers The luckiest people who still have a day or two off work at their disposal have the wonderful opportunity to build an even longer bridge and take advantage of it to plan a short getaway to some picturesque corner of the country; giving them the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved and necessary rest before the start of the Fiestas. Thus, they can return with their batteries recharged and with a positive attitude to face the following challenges.