Is December 26th a public holiday in Spain?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 24 Dec, 2022 Updated Sat 24 Dec 2022 14:58 CEST
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Tourists on a horse-drawn carriage ride around to see the city decorated with Christmas lights on December 17, 2022 in Seville. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

December 26th, known as Boxing Day or Saint Stephen’s Day, is not an important day on the Christmas calendar in most of Spain. But will it be a public holiday in your region keeping in mind that Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year?


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on a Saturday and a Sunday respectively in 2022.

So it’s only logical that you may be wondering if that means you’ll miss out on a public holiday in Spain as a result, as Christmas Day is always a festivo across Spain.

Have Spanish officials decided to make Monday December 26th a holiday instead to make up for it?


As often happens on these occasions when public holidays fall on weekends, it’s up to regional governments to decide whether to offer its citizens a bank holiday Monday instead, or choose a regional holiday for another date in the calendar. 

In 2022, Monday December 26th will be a regional holiday in Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Extremadura, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, La Rioja and Melilla.

However, it will not be a public holiday in the Valencian region, Galicia, the Basque Country and Ceuta.

READ ALSO: How to make the most of Spain’s public and regional holidays in 2023

Boxing Day isn't the same in Spain as it is in the UK or other Commonwealth countries; it's not referred to as that and it's not a shopping holiday. 

What is celebrated on December 26th in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands is Saint Stephen’s Day, known as well as the Feast of Saint Stephen. 

The reason why it’s mainly a Catalan celebration is that in the 9th century Catalonia formed part of the Carolingian empire, originally founded by Charlemagne, which had different Christian celebrations to Visigothic Spain. 

December 26th was chosen as a non-working day in order to give family members time to return home after enduring long journeys to see their loved ones on Christmas Day. 

Nowadays, it’s traditional to eat cannelloni in Catalonia to mark the occasion, but Sant Esteve isn’t such a big deal among Catalans as other regional holidays.

And if you’re wondering whether Monday January 2nd will be a holiday where you are in Spain -  seeing as January 1st 2023 falls on a Sunday -  it will only be a bank holiday in Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, Castilla y León and Murcia.



The Local 2022/12/24 14:58

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