Regional authorities in Spain move days off at Christmas and New Year’s Day

by Lorraine Williamson
Christmas and New Year´s Day holidays

It’s almost time: Christmas is just around the corner. This year, both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend, which is often unfavorable for employees. Nevertheless, some regional authorities in Spain have come up with something about this: residents get an extra day off. 

Christmas is almost here, and many people are already preparing to celebrate with family and friends. This year both Christmas Day and New Year´s Day fall on a weekend. In Spain, only these two days are considered holidays. 

The concept of Boxing Day is not really known in Spain and therefore, unless December 26 falls on a weekend, it is a normal working day in many places. However, there are some exceptions to this rule this year. 

Moving days off at Christmas and New Year

Because December 25 falls on a Sunday this year, some regional authorities in Spain have decided to also consider December 26 as a holiday. This so that people are compensated a bit in their days off, since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend. In this case, the Christmas day off will be moved to Monday 26 December, so that many Spaniards can still enjoy a longer weekend. 

Fourteen regions in Spain move a day off at Christmas 

A total of fourteen autonomous regional authorities have decided that Monday 26 December is also an official day off. In Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León, Catalonia (where the 26th is already a public holiday due to the celebration of San Esteban), Extremadura, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, La Rioja and the Autonomous City of Melilla are residents the 26th officially free on Monday. In contrast, Monday December 26 is a normal working day in the regions not mentioned above. 

Also with New Year’s Day an extra day off in some Spanish regions 

Just like with Christmas Day, some regional councils have therefore decided to do the same for New Year’s Day. Yet there is less enthusiasm for this. Only the regional authorities of Andalucia, Asturias, Aragon, Castile and Leon and Murcia have decided to move the official holiday from January 1 to January 2, as January 1 falls on a Sunday. All other regions in Spain expect their employees to return to work on January 2. 

Many public holidays in 2023 will be slightly more favorable for employees. They will then be less dependent on regional councils that decide to give residents an extra day off. View the full overview of all public holidays and long weekends in 2023 here. 

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