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Day of the Valencian Community in Spain

The Day of the Valencian Community (Día de la Comunidad Valenciana) marks the anniversary of King James I of Aragon's capture of the city of Valencia from Moorish forces in 1238. It is also the Day of Saint Dionysius, a traditional festival for lovers.

Is Day of the Valencian Community a Public Holiday?

Day of the Valencian Community is a public holiday in Valencia, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Colorful houses along a promenade in Valencia.

©iStockphoto.com/benedek

What Do People Do?

The International Festival of Pyrotechnics is held in the city of Valencia in early October. The finale of this festival marks the start of the Day of the Valencian Community celebrations. Parades are held in the city of Valencia and other towns and villages in the region on October 9. The parades feature people dressed in costumes, including medieval costumes. People in some areas hold a communal meal or party after the parade.

October 9 is also the Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Dionís), a saint also known as "the Areopagite". This saint is traditionally considered as the patron saint of lovers and there is the custom of giving the gift of a Mocaorà, a silken scarf containing marzipan pastries handcrafted by Valencia’s confectioners. Valencian men traditionally give their sweethearts gifts of marzipan sweets on this day. These sweets are wrapped in a piece of silk or placed in a decorative box.

Public Life

The Day of the Valencian Community is an annual public holiday in Valencia, Spain, on October 9. Most businesses and other organizations are closed. Most stores are closed, although some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services may run to a reduced schedule. Parades and other public events may cause some local disruption to traffic, especially in the centers of towns and villages.

If October 9 falls on a Sunday, regional or local authorities may move the public holiday to a different date. If October 9 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, October 8, or Friday, October 10 or March 1. The Day of the Valencian Community is not a public holiday in the rest of Spain on October 9.

Background

James I of Aragon took control of the area that is now the autonomous community of Valencia in 1208. He captured the city of Valencia on October 9, 1238. James I of Aragon created the Kingdom of Valencia, an independent country under his control, later that year. Valencia became part of the Kingdom of Spain in 1707.

The Valencian Community is an autonomous community on the eastern coast of Spain. It has land borders with the autonomous communities of Catalonia, Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, and Mercia. The Balearic Islands are close by in the Mediterranean. The Valencia region gained some autonomy in 1977 and full autonomy in 1982.

Symbols

The autonomous community of Valencia's flag is widely displayed on the Day of the Valencian Community. It is based on the heraldic symbol of the ancient kingdom of Aragon, known as the Senyera. This flag has been in use since 1159. Valencia's flag is often displayed with the national flag of Spain and the European flag.

Valencia's flag consists of nine horizontal stripes. It is usually 1.5 or two times as wide as it is tall. Five of the stripes are gold and four are red. The edge of the flag closest to the flagpole consists of a blue vertical stripe decorated with gold leaves. There is a red vertical stripe decorated with pearls, emeralds and rubies next to the blue stripe.

Day of the Valencian Community Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015FriOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2016SunOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2017MonOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2018TueOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2019WedOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2020FriOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2021SatOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2022SunOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2023MonOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2024WedOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia
2025ThuOct 9Day of the Valencian CommunityLocal holidayValencia

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