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Constitution Day in Spain

Quick Facts

Constitution Day marks the anniversary of the referendum to approve the Spanish Constitution and is a public holiday in Spain.

Local names

NameLanguage
Día de la Constitución EspañolaSpanish
Constitution DayEnglish
Tag der VerfassungGerman

Constitution Day 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Constitution Day 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015
List of dates for other years

Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved . This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.

View of the monument to the Spanish Constitution of 1978 in Chamartín district in Madrid.

A monument in Madrid to commemorate the Spanish Constitution of 1978 is pictured above.

Image copyright 2009 Luis García

What do people do?

On the days before Constitution Day, children and young people have extra lessons on the history, politics and constitution of Spain. Each year, a selection of high school students are invited to read the Constitution in the Lower House of the parliamentary buildings in Madrid a few days before December 6. The parliamentary buildings are open to the general public for one or two days. A cocktail party is held in the parliamentary buildings on December 6. Constitution Day is a quiet day off work for most people. They spend time at home relaxing with family members or close friends.

Public life

Constitution Day is a national public holiday. Public life is generally very quiet and most businesses and other organizations are closed. Most stores are closed, although some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule, although there may be no services in rural areas. Official ceremonies may cause some congestion in Madrid.

If December 6 falls on a Sunday, regional or local authorities can move the public holiday to a different date. If December 6 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, December 5, or Friday, December 7.

Background

The Francisco Franco was head of state in Spain from April 1, 1939, until November 20, 1975. Spain needed a new constitution and political system after his death. General elections were held on June 15, 1977. The newly formed parliament started drew up a new constitution.  The Spanish Constitution of 1978 was approved by 88 percent of the people of Spain in a referendum on December 6, 1978.

Symbols

Physical representations of the Spanish Constitution are important symbols of Constitution Day. An original copy, signed by King Juan Carlos I, is in the building of the Spanish Congress of Deputies on the Carrera de San Jerónimo in Madrid.

The national flag of Spain consists of two horizontal red bands separated by a yellow band. The red bands are of equal width and the yellow band is twice as wide as each red band. This version of the flag was confirmed in the constitution of 1978. The national flag is widely displayed on private homes, public buildings and even public transport vehicles on Constitution Day. It may be displayed alone or together with the European and regional flags.

Constitution Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
ThuDec 61990Constitution DayNational holiday 
FriDec 61991Constitution DayNational holiday 
SunDec 61992Constitution DayNational holiday 
MonDec 61993Constitution DayNational holiday 
TueDec 61994Constitution DayNational holiday 
WedDec 61995Constitution DayNational holiday 
FriDec 61996Constitution DayNational holiday 
SatDec 61997Constitution DayNational holiday 
SunDec 61998Constitution DayNational holiday 
MonDec 61999Constitution DayNational holiday 
WedDec 62000Constitution DayNational holiday 
ThuDec 62001Constitution DayNational holiday 
FriDec 62002Constitution DayNational holiday 
SatDec 62003Constitution DayNational holiday 
MonDec 62004Constitution DayNational holiday 
TueDec 62005Constitution DayNational holiday 
WedDec 62006Constitution DayNational holiday 
ThuDec 62007Constitution DayNational holiday 
SatDec 62008Constitution DayNational holiday 
SunDec 62009Constitution DayNational holiday 
MonDec 62010Constitution DayNational holiday 
TueDec 62011Constitution DayNational holiday 
ThuDec 62012Constitution DayNational holiday 
FriDec 62013Constitution DayNational holiday 
SatDec 62014Constitution DayNational holiday 
SunDec 62015Constitution DayNational holiday 
TueDec 62016Constitution DayNational holiday 
WedDec 62017Constitution DayNational holiday 
ThuDec 62018Constitution DayNational holiday 
FriDec 62019Constitution DayNational holiday 
SunDec 62020Constitution DayNational holiday 

Other holidays in December 2014 in Spain

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