Life in Culebrón

Monday 9 October 2017 - Days off versus holidays

It's The day of the Valencian Community today, a day off work in Valencia. On Thursday it's the día del Pilar - officially the Fiesta Nacional de España - and that's a holiday in the whole of Spain. In Culebrón then, or anywhere in Valencia, just three working days for most people this week. I noticed that someone on one of the Facebook pages I read was complaining about "yet another" Spanish holiday.

In fact there are fourteen official days off. In England and Wales there are normally just eight unless some Royal does something. There's a big difference though. In England the holidays are holidays - you get your eight days off come hell or high water. So, if Christmas day were to fall on a Saturday and Boxing Day on a Sunday there would be substitute holidays on the Monday and Tuesday.

In Spain they are not holidays they are non working days. One none working day is the 25th of December. If that day happens to fall on a Saturday then you don't have to work. If the 25th happens to fall on a Sunday you don't have to work. But lots of people don't work Saturday or Sunday anyway. So Christmas Day on a Saturday or Sunday means, for most people, that it's just a weekend like any other. A Saturday Christmas Day would, of course, make a difference to people who normally work Saturdays.

There are fourteen days off work wherever you live in Spain. The National Government lists, in the Official State Bulletin, up to nine non working days - that's days on which people don't have to work. The Regional Government names three more and finally the local Town Hall names two. The last time all nine days were used by the National Government was 2009 though it was pretty close this year with eight. All the Regional Governments chose to name the 6th January as a holiday too so that, in effect, all of Spain will have been closed down on the same nine days by the time that 2017 ends. 2017 is going to be a good year for holidays. Out of the fourteen possible only one falls on a weekend so we'll actually get 13 out of the maximum 14. On bad years I think it can be as low as 10.

When the Government publishes its “unchangeable” list they also publish a suggested but changeable list. These are the holidays the Regional Governments can alter for local traditions or expectations. They include Epiphany on January 6th, Maunday Thursday at Easter and San José, Fathers Day on March 19th. Mother's Day is on the first Sunday of May so it's never a holiday. All of the Communities add in a day of the Community like the ones for Valencia on October 9th and Murcia on June 9th.

The normal National Holidays are New Year's day, Good Friday, Labour Day (May 1st ), Assumption Day (August 15th), National Day of Spain (October 12th), All Saints Day (November 1st ), Constitution Day, (December 6th), Immaculate Conception (December 8th) and Christmas Day (December 25th).

In Pinoso the two local days are usually the Monday after what we Brits would call Easter Monday, (which is usually a Valencian day off) and is named for San Vicente - in 2018 that will be on 9th April whilst in 2017 it was 24th April - and the 8th of August (for the Virgen del Remedio).

The list for Pinoso for 2018 is 1 de enero (Año Nuevo), 6 de enero (Reyes Magos) como día retribuido y recuperable, 19 de marzo (San José), 2 de abril (Lunes de Pascua), 9 de abril (Lunes de San Vicente), 1 de mayo (Fiesta del Trabajo), 8 de agosto (día dedicado a la Virgen del Remedio), 9 de octubre (Día de la Comunitat Valenciana), 12 de octubre (Fiesta Nacional de España), 1 de noviembre (Todos los Santos), 6 de diciembre (Día de la Constitución), 8 de diciembre (Inmaculada Concepción), 25 de diciembre (Navidad)

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Day to day life in the Spanish village of Culebrón in inland Alicante


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