By Allison Ross, Midwest University Relations Representative
Well Americans, the 4th of July passed and there were no fireworks. Labor Day is almost upon us and personally I would be willing to bet money that the Spanish will still be at work on that Monday. In theory it is an easy concept to accept, different countries have different holidays. Yet having spent the summer in Barcelona I was shocked at how many Americans still went all out for the 4th of July while ignoring the Spanish holidays around them. Hence why I am here to educate future students as to the holidays in Spain and what is the best way to celebrate!
January 1st: Surprise! New Year’s Day still exists in Spain! In the USA we celebrate New Year’s by staying up past our bedtimes with good family and friends, and the Spanish do the same. However as many people know the Spanish bedtime is later to begin with. For those of you in Spain for this holiday you may need to prep with an afternoon nap to prepare yourselves.
Easter: Students who spend Easter break rushing home for that one day in the states shall appreciate the time off given to students to celebrate with their families. Semana Santa also known as the Holy Week is one of the key holidays in Barcelona marking the end of Lent and beginning of Easter. In Barcelona this time is also the time for celebrating spring and the end of winter.
Sant Jordi on April 23rd: Sant Jordi is the Patron Saint of Catalunya and is seen as their version of Valentines Day. It is tradition to present women with roses and men with books on this day. However unlike our version of Valentine’s Day this day is to celebrate giving gifts to friends as well.
May 1st: Don’t expect to get September 1st off this year however May 1st celebrates Labor Day in Barcelona! Relax take this day off to appreciate yourself!
June 23: This marks the beginning of Sant Joan. Celebrated with massive fireworks and bonfires on the beach the locals will be out all night to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Following these nightly festivities the 24th is known as the Feast of Sant Joan, marking the longest day of the year it is a pretty great excuse to indulge in local dishes.
September 24th: La Merce Festival, the festival of colors. This is a five-day festival in honor of Mare de Deu de la Merce, the Patron Saint of Barcelona. Events include the Fire Run, celebrating with the Human Towers also known as Castellers, the Gigantes or Giants Parade and more!
December 25th: Merry Christmas and bring in the New Year!
These are just a fraction of the multiple holidays throughout the year. And, the best way to experience them is to come join in!!!