Holidays in Spain in 2016

Holidays in Spain in 2016


Date Weekday Holiday name Holiday type Where it is observed
Jan 1 Friday New Year’s Day National holiday
Jan 1 Friday Feast of the Holy Family Observance
Jan 6 Wednesday Epiphany National holiday
Feb 10 Wednesday Ash Wednesday Observance
Feb 28 Sunday Day of Andalucía Local holiday Andalusia
Mar 1 Tuesday Day of the Balearic Islands Local holiday Balearic Islands
Mar 19 Saturday San Jose Common Local holidays AR, CL, CM, EX, GA, M, ML, MU, NA, PV, VC
Mar 20 Sunday March equinox Season
Mar 20 Sunday Palm Sunday Observance
Mar 24 Thursday Maundy Thursday Common Local holidays 15 states
Mar 25 Friday Good Friday National holiday
Mar 27 Sunday Daylight Saving Time starts Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Mar 28 Monday Easter Monday Local holiday CT, LO, NA, PV, VC
Mar 28 Monday Easter Monday Common Local holidays CT, LO, NA, PV, S, VC
Apr 23 Saturday Day of Aragón Local holiday Aragon
Apr 23 Saturday St George’s Day Local holiday Catalonia
Apr 23 Saturday Castile and León Day Local holiday Castile-Leon
May 1 Sunday Labor Day / May Day National holiday
May 1 Sunday Mothers’ Day Observance
May 2 Monday Labor Day observed National holiday 14 states
May 2 Monday Day of Madrid Local holiday Madrid
May 15 Sunday Feast Day of St Isidore Local holiday Madrid
May 15 Sunday Whit Sunday/Pentecost Observance
May 16 Monday Whit Monday Local holiday Barcelona
May 17 Tuesday Galicia Literature Day Local holiday Galicia
May 26 Thursday Corpus Christi Local holiday Castile-La Mancha, Madrid
May 30 Monday Day of the Canary Islands Local holiday Canary Islands
May 31 Tuesday Canaries day observed Local holiday Canary Islands
May 31 Tuesday Day of Castile-La Mancha Local holiday Castile-La Mancha
Jun 9 Thursday Day of Murcia Local holiday Murcia
Jun 9 Thursday Day of La Rioja Local holiday La Rioja
Jun 13 Monday San Antonio Local holiday Ceuta
Jun 20 Monday June Solstice Season
Jun 24 Friday Saint John the Baptist Day Local holiday Catalonia, Galicia
Jul 25 Monday Labor Day observed National holiday La Rioja
Jul 25 Monday Feast of Saint James the Apostle Common Local holidays CL, CN, GA, LO, M, M, NA, PV
Jul 28 Thursday Day of the Institutions Local holiday Cantabria
Aug 5 Friday The Day of Our Lady of Africa Local holiday Ceuta
Aug 14 Sunday The Day of Cantabria Local holiday Cantabria
Aug 15 Monday Assumption of Mary National holiday
Sep 2 Friday Day of the Independent City of Ceuta Local holiday Ceuta
Sep 8 Thursday Day of Asturias Local holiday Asturias
Sep 8 Thursday Day of Extremadura Local holiday Extremadura
Sep 8 Thursday Virgin of the Victory Local holiday Melilla
Sep 11 Sunday Day of Catalonia Local holiday Catalonia
Sep 12 Monday Eid-al-Adha Local holiday Melilla
Sep 13 Tuesday Eid-al-Adha Local holiday Ceuta
Sep 15 Thursday Nuestra Señora de la Bien Aparecida Local holiday Cantabria
Sep 17 Saturday Day of Melilla Local holiday Melilla
Sep 22 Thursday September equinox Season
Oct 7 Friday 80th anniversary of the constitution of the Basque Government in Guernica Local holiday Basque Country
Oct 9 Sunday Day of the Valencian Community Local holiday Valencia
Oct 12 Wednesday Hispanic Day National holiday
Oct 30 Sunday Daylight Saving Time ends Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Nov 1 Tuesday All Saints’ Day National holiday All except
Dec 3 Saturday Day of Navarre Local holiday Navarre
Dec 6 Tuesday Constitution Day National holiday All except AN, AR, CE, EX, LO, ML, MU, O, VC
Dec 8 Thursday Immaculate Conception National holiday
Dec 21 Wednesday December Solstice Season
Dec 24 Saturday Christmas Eve Observance
Dec 25 Sunday Christmas Day National holiday
Dec 26 Monday Christmas Day observed Common Local holidays 12 states
Dec 26 Monday St Stephen’s Day Local holiday B, CT, IB, MU
Dec 31 Saturday New Year’s Eve Observance

Expat or Immigrant? – Moving to Spain – which one are you?

Paris Terror Attacks Transform Debate Over Europe’s Migration Crisis


This is the title from the Wall Street Journal posted on the 16th of November 2015. The full article can be read here.  I originally wrote the post below in 2011 and recent events are a poignant reminder to touch on the subject once again.

Expat (expatriate) One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.


Today, 19th November 2015 I did an experiment by typing a Google search for ‘images of Expats’ & ‘images of Immigrants’. The two screen shot images above are the results. You can do the same to get a clearer picture but I am sure you will agree, the two  sets of images show a massive contrast in the portrayal of the two words.What do they say; A picture paints a thousand words!

If I was asked now which set of photos I feel I belong to, it would have to be the Expat.

I personally think it is a bit of a class thing. Immigration has a bit of a negative connotation, a trait of an immigrant could be represented by a minority ethnic group.

 This is what I wrote back in 2011


Immigrant or Expat? 

Here is just a very small piece from Wikipedia, for the full low down go here Wikipedia

In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies, rather than for all ‘immigrants‘ or ‘migrant workers‘. The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an ‘immigrant‘ or ‘migrant worker‘.

There is no set definition and usage varies with context, for example the same person may be seen as an “expatriate” by his home country and a “migrant worker” where he works. Retirement abroad, in contrast, usually makes one an “expatriate”.

Expat (expatriate) One who has taken up residence in a foreign country.


Immigrant or Expat?

Immigrant or Expat?


Immigrant A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

So, where do you stand on this?

I reckon I am more of an immigrant.  Why?

Well, as you should know by now if you are a regular reader or at least if you have read the About page. I moved to Spain from the UK in 2003, at the time I didn’t consider myself either, just someone looking to make a better life for himself and his family!

So, is an expat, someone who leaves his native country to live in another country? and an immigrant, someone coming from another country and entering another country? I can’t see the difference!  Or is an Expat, someone who brings money from another country or gets salary paid from another country etc. (retirement, businessman, diplomat)? and an Immigrant, someone who is earning money inside the country out of its local sources (employment salary paid in local currency)?

You never hear the phrase ‘legal expat’ or ‘illegal expat’, but to hear ‘legal immigrant’ and ‘illegal immigrant’ is very common.

Oh, this is getting hard work! How about this.

“The difference between an expatriate and an immigrant is that immigrants commit themselves to becoming a part of their country or residence, whereas an expatriate see themselves, and are perceived, as living in a foreign land”. If that’s the case I am an immigrant.

I personally think it is a bit of a class thing. Immigration has a bit of a negative connotation, a trait of an immigrant could be represented by a minority ethnic group. So, although an expat can be a minority in the extreme sense, they often avoid the status of a statistical minority. I would say that’s something to do with the negative connotation of being termed an immigrant. I’m not sure how many expats are concerned with how they are termed but I hope if you are still reading this, please tell me by posting a comment below.

From what I have seen & read, just the term Expat is under dispute. Some articles on this subject have different views and there isn’t really a clear cut definition in dictionary’s either. The bottom line is, probably there is no real difference between an Expat and an Immigrant.

One last thing to mention here, is patriotism! Expatriate from the Latin ex patria – to be out of your native country. Patriot is from the Greek patris meaning fatherland.  May I suggest that the degree of permanence separates the two. The trouble is none of us know the future, many people have asked me if I would ever go back to the UK. I don’t know but I will never say never, although I am very comfortable here in Spain, as are my family.

So for now, I’ll leave the definitions up to you and I’ll continue to be un Guiri living in Spain, my adopted home country.

Atlanta, Georgia to Cadiz, Spain

Atlanta, Georgia to Cadiz, Spain

Stone Mountain, Atlanta, Georgia

I was feeling a bit nervous as I boarded the plane in Atlanta, Georgia. I was moving to

Spain,    where I knew no one. Besides that, I was entrusting a stranger to prepare the way

for me. I   had no references for Paul, except that someone in a magazine mentioned

using his services.

I know scams litter the internet, so in the back of my mind that knowledge festered.

However,   I communicated with Paul for several months via e-mail and he seemed able

and forthright.   He addressed all my questions promptly and to my satisfaction. His web

site gave me  information that was helpful; including some information that I didn’t even

know I needed. I   am a writer and looked forward to being alone; to do some research

and jump start a project   that required me to know more about Spain. I picked Cadiz

because of the climate and   beaches.   I read the Cadiz area was less infested with tourists

than other coastal areas in Spain and that was also appealing. I knew nothing about Spain except what I learned from the internet,

reading and from Paul. So moving toSpain was a leap of faith. I am pleased to report that Paul’s smiling face was right there to pick me

up when I arrived. He drove me to the nice, reasonably priced, furnished apartment he had reserved for me. He was armed with a list

of properties for me to look at in El Puerto de Santa Maria, where I decided to settle. Paul cheerfully drove me around for two days to

look at apartments at various locations. I saw several I liked and then one that I really liked, so Paul took charge and made all the

arrangements. I was very grateful for his services. Finding an apartment on my own would have been an unpleasant and unwieldy

chore. It would have taken longer and been frustrating; as most apartment owners speak as little English as I do Spanish! Paul is fluent

in both, so negotiating and signing a contract went smoothly. Paul also helped with the odds and ends (like getting me a cell phone)

necessary to get settled in. He was readily available to me and even kept in touch afterwards. His fee was just and no more than he told

me it would be.

Cadiz, Spain

I was pleased with his services. So I wanted to write to his blog to let others

know they may rest assured that Paul is real and does what he promises to

do, for the fee he states. I do encourage you, as Paul did me, to learn

Spanish if you plan to live here. I currently have a private teacher assisting

me. There are also schools available. I am enjoying life here in Spain. Good

luck to those of you coming this way.


Adios, Julianna

I want to move to Spain with my family

Dear Sir,
I am so happy that I got the chance to find your websites. They are helping a lot with its informations.
I am a romanian 32 years old woman, married with a 4 1/2 years daughter, and we all three want to move to Spain, because of our bad situation over here.
In fact, I guess all romanian people wants to leave, because of the worst economic situation. I also know that in this moment it’s not the best to move to Spain, because also there are some problems. 
I have sent till now many emails, in english, in spanish, with my cv and a cover letter, to some HR companies or directly to hiring company. No answer, unfortunatelly!
Is that hard to find a job? Or I just have to come there to put my CV and have a face-to-face contact?
I mention that I am a Legal Adviser, I have worked 4 and half years in Bank field, and I know english, italian, spanish.
There so many years since I dream about Spain, but the only few things I made, were some vacations over there.
Oh, also applied though internet (from 2008), and never got an answer. Could be this because of my nationality or just because it’s a must to be there to apply for a job?
I have also tried in England, thinking that would be easier to come in Spain from England, but having a negative answer from England, too.
I must tell you that I don’t have money to buy a propriety down there. I will come, probably with 3000Eur  to survive about 2 months with this money.
Could you please tell me, what you think it’s the best way? Or, what you think about my chances? Should I try more?
Thank you very much for your kind help!
Best regards,

Paul -

Dear Monica,

I am sorry for the delay in replying.

As I state on my blog, I tell it like it is, I am not trying to sell you anything, just giving my own personal advice. The current employment situation, here in Spain is very bad. I don’t know how bad your situation is, in Rumania but with a young family, you need to think seriously hard about it.

Coming here with €3000 is a big gamble. Depending on where you want to live in Spain, you won’t survive very long. In parts of Andalucia, you may find rentals for €300 per month. That’s 10 months rent but you have to pay bills, electric, gas, water etc and feed the 3 of you! Plus if you are thinking of renting in the major cities, where you are more likely to find work, your rental is more likely to be €750 minimum for a two bed apt.

Your written English is perfect, so if your Spanish & Italian are the same level, my advice would be to try and seek employment in Gibraltar, you might not get a job as a legal adviser but with your language skills, I am sure you may find something. La Linea de Concepción is the Spanish town opposite the rock, it is not the most glamorous of places but rental would be cheaper to start with and by working in Gibraltar your wages should be higher than the average in Spain and you would be paid in sterling.

 I don’t think there is a big racist problem in Spain but as is the way of the world, a Spanish person going for the same job as yourself, may have an advantage. Being a young woman and having a child makes your circumstances more difficult. If it were your husband who was writing to me, I would advise him to come here for a month on his own to test the water! Does your husband speak Spanish or English? What is his profession?

I hope I have helped in some small way. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.

Kind regards



Moving to Spain with Teenagers

Moving to Spain with Teenagers


What do I know about moving to Spain, with teenagers?

Answer, absolutely nothing! I came to Spain from the UK with two very young children.

Kevin the teenager - Harry Enfield

Kevin the teenager – Harry Enfield

So, as with everything else on this blog, these are my own personal opinions. I would love for you to comment, below and tell me I am wrong or even if you agree with me. Especially, if you have moved here with teenagers, let me know your experiences. Thanks 🙂

Moving to Spain or anywhere abroad with teenagers must be a daunting task for most parents. What do teenagers fear most about the BIG move? Apart from not wanting to actually go, of course! Well, the fear of losing Friends & Family. Throw leaving behind a Boyfriend or Girlfriend into the mix and you are going to be hated for a long while. Apart from that, their studies and having to learn a new language and make new friends, is somewhat of an unwanted challenge.

I would advise you to wait but hey, who am I to stand in front of your dreams. Let’s consider your teenager and his or her concerns.


Kevin the Teenager - Harry Enfield

Kevin the Teenager – Harry Enfield

Remember being a teenager? You know, how you dealt with peer pressure, adolescence, puberty, acne, fashion, music, weight problems, relationships etc, etc.

It wasn’t easy was it? Nothing’s changed, it’s still not. Being a teenager in familiar confines is not easy but now they have got to deal with moving to a foreign country! So, if your teenager is far from enthusiastic about moving abroad, don’t be surprised.  They are at an age when they will need to rebel and assert their views more aggressively.  You will need to listen to them, expressing their dissent, and you as a parent must be empathetic.  You will need to reassure them that this move will be GREAT, for the whole family. Even though, I am sure you will have anxiety and doubts, listen to their protests and try to put their fears to rest.

You will need all the help you can get, so if other trusted family members or friends can help you out, please ask them.

Get the timing right and you may just make your life easier.

So when might be an appropriate time? If you have been planning this for a long time, make sure you drop hints, every now and again. May be leave magazines about Spain or property abroad, lying around for them to see.

It is important that you introduce the topic of moving to Spain at an appropriate time.  The end of the academic year is a good idea, all depending on how long it is before the actual move. This may make it seem a bit more like the beginning of a new chapter in your children’s life.  It may also enable them to look at the move as beginning afresh in a new school with new friends and so on. I know I am looking on the bright side, but hey I am an optimist 🙂

An Introduction to Spain and the new family home.   

Make sure you have done your homework, you need to convey a 100% conviction about the move, as well as having studied every detail of the new place you will call home. They will soon sense any doubts or flaws in your plans. If you can give your teen a preview of the new place he or she will soon call home, that will make a difference. Show them, how beautiful it is, relate to all the things they like doing and show them how much better they will be able do them in Spain. Films, books or documentaries will be a good introduction for them. You might, encourage your child to find out something on their own, by searching on the internet. If there is an expat community in the area, tell them about it. The existence of an expatriate community will reassure them that they will make new friends and have lots of fun things to do.
Remember to involve them in the whole moving process.

You must make your child feel involved in the transition of moving to Spain. Ask them to go with you on house hunting trips so they can get a feel for the place themselves. I’m not normally one for bribes but if there is something your teenager really wants, then why not let them know they can have it, when you have moved to Spain! This may just help break the ice a little and make your experience a little less painless. Once you have a new home and you can decorate, let them decorate their own room. May be, you might want to oversee it though;)

You may need to be a safety net.

What do I mean by that? Well, ensure your child / children know they can always rely on you for support. You need to make them feel, they can rely on you, as a parent for anything. They may lose their friends but assure them, they have the support of his extended family and their parents for anything.  Your job is to let them know, that no matter how embarrassing an issue, you will at least hear them out first.  You also need to let them keep in contact with friends and family back home, via Skype, telephone, e-mail and may be at least an annual visit to your home country.

An initial trip to the New School Together.

If possible, depending on the term and time of year, a visit to the new school together with your child would be a good idea. It will help you all, to take a tour of the new school, meet the teachers and the head of the institution so that things won’t seem so new and overwhelming when they start or the academic year begins. If you put your teenagers in an International school it will be a lot easier to be able to talk to the teachers and explain your child’s predicaments if any. This might not be so easy if they are going into a state Spanish school, but this is not a good idea. Your child’s education isn’t something you can play with at this stage of their lives. The studies will be difficult enough, without having to try and understand everything in a new language! They will be completely lost, absolutely everything will be diffrent and alien to them.

Now Family Time becomes Nº. 1

You should now be able to have some special family time when you and your children can bond.  Your new surroundings should give you plenty of excuses to get out and explore. Visit all the local places of interest. If your kids love sport get them to join clubs, in the sports they are interested in. Go out to the local restaurants and have fun choosing the menu. However simple, you should all get together and talk about what is happening with you at work and in school.  It could also be a short weekend getaway, bowling, skating or hire out a movie for you all to watch together, just something you all enjoy doing.
Whatever family rituals or practices your family has, keep them up and let your children remain in touch with yours and their traditions and values, even though they now live in Spain

A patient and empathetic approach with the element of fun thrown in is all you need to make a smooth transition abroad with your teenager.  This might be easier said than done if you live in a non touristy part of Spain, but if you need to and things seem tough don’t hesitate, to try and to seek professional help.