“Adeu” 2022 and “Hola!” 2023!
At callCarlos our aim is to help you “Enjoy Life” so we’ve put together a list of the public holidays in Catalunya in 2023 for you to enjoy.
National Public Holidays
Across the country of Spain there are certain fixed national holidays that apply to all regions. These number nine in total and include New Year’s Day (except this year – more on that below), Día de Reyes on the 6th of January, Labour Day on the 1st of May, the Feast of the Assumption on the 15th of August, the Spanish National Day on the 12th of October, All Saint’s Day on the 1st of November, the Day of the Spanish Constitution on the 6th of December followed a couple of days later by the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th. And of course Christmas Day on the 25th of December.
Good Friday also is a holiday throughout Spain but, obviously, the actual date changes from year to year, so really there are 10 national holidays in Spain: 9 fixed + 1 floating.
In addition to the ten Spanish holidays, each Comunidad Autónoma also has its own regional national day, which, in Catalunya, is the Diada de Catalunya on the 11th of September. Each autonomous government can then choose up to three further public holidays for its region but in some cases, they may choose to designate fewer in order to allow for more public holidays to be assigned at a local level.
Over the Easter period, which of course falls on different dates each year, every region has either two or three public holidays but not always the same days as one other.
For example, Good Friday is a holiday across the land, as mentioned above, as is Holy Thursday everywhere except in Catalunya and neighbouring Valencia. On the other hand, Catalunya has a holiday on Easter Monday whereas most other regions do not.
Although the Feast of St. John (Sant Joan) on the 24th of June is celebrated in many places throughout Spain, only in Catalunya, Valencia and Galicia is it an official regional holiday.
While everyone has a holiday on Christmas Day, the 25th of December, Catalunya is the only autonomous region to normally have the next day, St. Stephen’s Day, off too.
To recap, Catalunya has ten public holidays in common with the rest of Spain. It also has its own national day on 11 September, plus Easter Monday, Saint John’s Day and St. Stephen’s Day.
Sundays don’t count!
If a public holiday happens to fall on a Sunday the government can designate an alternate date for the holiday or, as is usually the case in Catalunya, they can allow local authorities to choose one themselves instead. It is for this reason that you will sometimes find that one local municipality has a public holiday on a certain day while their neighbouring townland does not.
This year, 2023, for example, as the 1st of January falls on a Sunday, the Catalan government has not made it an official holiday, meaning that local governments will be allowed to designate an additional public holiday in their respective jurisdictions. Bonus!
Maybe we should move to “Morocco”!
In total, each ‘autonomous community’ in Spain is designated 14 public holidays per year – including the nine national ones.
The two autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla that belong to Spain but which are located on the north coast of Africa – effectively enclaves within Morocco – have, since 2010, been allowed an extra official public holiday to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha or (Feast of the Sacrifice), making it the first non-Christian religious festival to be officially celebrated in Spain since the end of the Reconquista in 1492.
“Making a Bridge”
When the Spanish or Catalans have a public holiday that falls on a Tuesday or Thursday it is quite common for employers to give their workers the Monday or Friday off – or for employees themselves to take the Monday or Friday off – and make a long weekend of it. This custom is referred to as hacer puente, or ‘making a bridge’. No sense in letting work get in the way of a good fiesta!
Public Holidays in Catalunya 2023
- 1 January – Sunday – Cap d’Any (New Year’s Day)
- 6 January – Friday – Reis (Epiphany)
- 7 April – Friday – Divendres Sant (Good Friday)
- 10 April – Monday – Pascua Florida (Easter Monday)
- 1 May – Monday – Festa del Treball (Labour Day)
- 24 June – Saturday – Sant Joan (St John’s Day)
- 15 August – Tuesday – L’Assumpció (Assumption)
- 11 September – Monday – Diada Nacional de Catalunya (National Catalan Day)
- 12 October – Thursday – Festa Nacional d’Espanya (National Day of Spain)
- 1 November – Wednesday – Festa de Tots Sants (All Saints’ Day)
- 6 December – Wednesday – Dia de la Constitució (Constitution Day)
- 8 December – Friday – La Immaculada (Immaculate Conception)
- 25 December – Monday – Nadal (Christmas Day)
- 26 December – Tuesday – Sant Esteve (St Stephen’s Day)
So, as you can see, there are 13 designated holidays in Catalunya this year rather than 14. Don’t forget to watch out for that extra public holiday in lieu of the one that fell on a Sunday – in this year’s case, New Year’s Day. When that extra holiday happens will depend on exactly where you live, so you’ll just have to check locally!