Calendar and holiday
Google+ print

Calendar and holiday

Shops and businesses are closed to the public on Sundays and Public Holidays. Shops only open on Sundays that coincide with the Christmas holidays or the beginning of the sales, due to the increase in sales.

Public administrations are open to the public from Monday and Friday, between 8 am and 3 pm.

The most common holiday month is August, although some businesses choose June, July or even September.

The academic year for schools, universities and other training institutes usually lasts from the beginning of September/October to the end of June or beginning of July.

 Date  Feast National / Regional / Local
 January 1st  New Year National
 January 6th  Epiphany National
 March 19th  St. Joseph’s / Father’s Day National
 April  Maundy Thursday National
 April  Good Friday National
 May 1st  Labour Day National
 May  Ascensión Local
 May 17th  Day of Galician Letters Regional
 July 25th  St. James’ DayGalicia Day Regional
 August 15th  Assumption National
 August 16th  St. Roque’s Day Local
 October 12th  Columbus Day National
 November 1st  All Saints’ Day National
 December 6th  Spanish Constitution National
 December 25th  Christmas National

New Year: On New Year’s Eve, people usually have dinner as a family. Then, a lot of people meet in Plaza de la Quintana to see the New Year in, eating one grape on each chime of the Cathedral’s Berenguella Clock. Thereafter the celebrations spread throughout the city, continuing until dawn.

Epiphany: In order to celebrate the Lord’s Epiphany, the three Wise Men from the East (Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar) tour the city in their carriages, delighting boys and girls with Christmas gifts.

Carnival Festival: The Carnival is a time of disguises, noise, parades and eating excesses. The festival lasts for a weekend and the following Monday and Tuesday, which is a half-day holiday in Santiago.

Holy Week: During the Holy Week, which commemorates Christ’s passion and death, several religious processions go around the city’s streets in a solemn parade.

Day of Galician Letters: This day pays posthumous tribute to an important Galician author, while also promoting the regional language. It is the festival of Galicia’s own language and literature.

Ascension Festival: A local festival, with a strong traditional flavour, that commemorates Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

San Juan: One the eve of St. John’s Day (June 24th), the shortest night in the year, Compostela’s residents light bonfires all over the city to ward off evil spirits in view of the arrival of summer. It is a fiesta with a strong magical and symbolic flavour.

Apostle Festival: The Apostle Festival is the most important one in the city and in Galicia. It begins in mid-July and reaches its high point on the eve of St. James’ Day (July 25th), with an impressive fireworks display in Plaza del Obradoiro. On July 25th, the King or his representative makes an offering to the Apostle James, in a ceremony featuring the famous “botafumeiro” (a giant censer that flies above the churchgoers’ heads, swinging from north to south through the transept’s side arms). July 25th is also Galicia Day, which features numerous official and recreational events, as well as political demonstrations through the Galicia capital’s city centre.