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|
|March 19th||St. Joseph’s / Father’s Day||National|
|May 1st||Labour Day||National|
|May 17th||Day of Galician Letters||Regional|
|July 25th||St. James’ DayGalicia Day||Regional|
|August 16th||St. Roque’s Day||Local|
|October 12th||Columbus Day||National|
|November 1st||All Saints’ Day||National|
|December 6th||Spanish Constitution||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.