Spain celebrates Father’s Day on March 19, but it is not an official day off everywhere

by Lorraine Williamson
Father´s day

Father’s Day is celebrated in Spain on March 19. It is a holiday with a long tradition that has its origins in the Catholic Church, as it pays tribute to the father of Jesus, Saint Joseph.

Although Father’s Day is celebrated throughout Spain, it is not an official holiday in all autonomous communities. The day is no longer included among the days off that apply to the entire country, both on the work and academic calendars.

Flexible days

There are national, regional and local holidays in Spain. Some of them are flexible, or have local significance. Or they are celebrated depending on the week: for example, they are made up if they fall on Friday or Monday, in order to extend the weekend without having to take vacation days or personal days.

This year, March 19 falls on a Tuesday, which means that certain areas that do count this day as part of their holidays have the option of organising a long weekend vacation and using Monday as its own day or as a vacation and leave day.

Cogesa Expats

In which regions is it a public holiday?

This year, Father’s Day is only an official holiday in the Region of Murcia and the Valencian Community. In Valencia, Father’s Day coincides with the last day of one of the most famous celebrations in Spain: the Fallas in Valencia.

In addition, it is a public holiday in half of Extremadura, since Badajoz has decided to make March 19 and San Juan, which is celebrated on June 24 and falls on a Monday this year, a long weekend.

Although it is not a regional holiday in Aragon, there are municipalities that have chosen March 19 as a local holiday. This is the case in Cubel and Daroca, both in the Campo de Daroca region in the province of Zaragoza.

Origins of Father’s Day

The origins of the celebration of this day in Spain date back to 1948. A teacher in Dehesa de la Villa, Madrid, organised an event at a school to pay tribute to the fathers of the students. Due to its religious origins, it was decided to celebrate Father’s Day on March 19, Saint Joseph. In doing so, the father of Jesus was chosen as the model of a Christian and hard-working father.

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