St Stephen's Day in Spain
St Stephen's Day, known as San Esteban or Sant Esteve in Spanish, is an annual public holiday in three Spanish communities on the day after Christmas. It remembers the first known Christian martyr.
Stoned to Death
The day honors Saint Stephen, sometimes spelled Stephan, who was a deacon in the early Christian Church. He's best known as the first saint to die for his beliefs, at around 33 or 34 CE. The Jewish authorities arrested him for blasphemy against Moses and God. He then made a speech denouncing them at his trial and was stoned to death afterwards. St Paul witnessed his martyrdom before converting to Christianity.
Holiday for Some Communities
St Stephen's Day is a day off for workers in Barcelona, the Balearic Islands, and Catalonia. It's common for friends and family to join in on a meal to celebrate the day. Typical meals for the feast include a Canelloni pasta dish, leftovers from Christmas Day, or a pasta and meat meal called Escudella i carn d’olla. Escudella is served in two parts: pasta soup first, and then the meat and vegetables on a serving dish.
Most churches throughout Spain have special services dedicated to the saint or mention him in their sermons on or around December 26.
What's Open or Closed?
Government offices, schools, and most businesses are closed in the three communities where the day is a holiday. Public transport schedules may change so it's best to check with the local transport authorities if you're travelling to Barcelona, the Balearic Islands, or Catalonia. It's generally business as usual for the rest of Spain.
St Stephen's Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Fri||Dec 26||2014||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
|Sat||Dec 26||2015||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
|Mon||Dec 26||2016||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB, MU|
|Tue||Dec 26||2017||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
|Wed||Dec 26||2018||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
|Thu||Dec 26||2019||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
|Sat||Dec 26||2020||St Stephen's Day||Local holiday||B, CT, IB|
Quick FactsThe Feast of St Stephen is a holiday to commemorate the life and death of an early Christian saint.
St Stephen's Day 2018Wednesday, December 26, 2018 (local in Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Catalonia)
St Stephen's Day 2019Thursday, December 26, 2019 (local in Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Catalonia)
Name in other languages
|St Stephen's Day||English|
|lunes siguiente a la Natividad del Señor||Spanish|
|Second Day of Christmas||English|
Other holidays in December 2018 in Spain
- Day of Navarre – Monday, December 3, 2018
- Constitution Day – Thursday, December 6, 2018
- Immaculate Conception – Saturday, December 8, 2018
- Christmas Eve – Monday, December 24, 2018
- Christmas Day – Tuesday, December 25, 2018
- New Year's Eve – Monday, December 31, 2018