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Spain's 'National Festival': A public holiday with a chequered past and a topical present
12 October 2018 @ 15:15

HOPEFULLY, you'll have realised today (Friday) is a national public holiday before going out shopping and finding everywhere closed – although if you're in Catalunya, you'll probably still be able to pick up the weekly groceries without any problems.

Historically called Día de la Hispanidad, or 'Hispanic Day', and now more often referred to as the Fiesta Nacional de España ('National Festival of Spain'), the countrywide day off work has had its fair share of controversy as well as celebration.

In Aragón, as it coincides with the saint's day for the Virgen del Pilar – which is why you'll often see it referred to as the Puente del Pilar or 'Pilar Bank Holiday Weekend' – residents in the tongue-shaped region which stretches from the Pyrénées to about a third of the way down the mainland to the east of the centre will normally speak of October 12 in these terms, escaping any concerns about political correctness.

For the rest of the country, however, it's mainly just treated as a bonus day off to break up the working month – except by residents in and visitors to Madrid, who get to enjoy the pomp of a full military parade with paratroopers and aerobatics, as well as a close-up glimpse of the King and Queen.

Brave new world

It is said to be October 12 when, in the year 1492, Christopher Columbus' Crown-funded voyage from Cádiz ended on dry land, reputedly in what is now Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic.



Like 0


wigmore said:
15 October 2018 @ 09:49

Friday 12 October is also the day of the guardia civil

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