Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Spain
Church in San Pedro
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Spain (Inmaculada Concepcion) is a national holiday and is celebrated on December 8th. Most businesses will be closed, however, restaurants and cafes are likely to be open for business. Local schools (both Spanish and international) are also closed on this day, so all the kids will be out and about. Some businesses take advantage of this opportunity and remain open, so call before you head out.
The Immaculate Conception is a religious holiday and, thus, many churches in Spain offer additional services on this day. The Catholic church celebrates Mary´s "immaculate" conception as she didn´t suffer "original sin" when she fell pregnant with Jesus.
The Feast of the Immaculate conception is often celebrated in conjunction with Spanish Constitution Day
on December 6th, which is also a national holiday. Although technically December 7th is a working day, some businesses (and many schools) take this day off, creating a "puente" (bridge). This year (2010) December 6th is on a Monday and December 8th is a Wednesday so most people get a 5-day weekend! On other years some people may take off the whole week creating the biggest puente of the year.