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Spain - Constitution Day

European Days and Weeks
Date: Friday, 06 December 2019

Venue: Spain

This public holiday is always celebrated on 6 December and marks the approval of the Spanish constitution by the Spanish people in 1978.

As part of the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, a general election took place in 1977 to convene the Cortes Generales (Parliament) for the purpose of drafting and approving a constitution (this is called Cortes Constituyentes).

A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on a draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the Cortes. These so-called Fathers of the Constitution were Gabriel Cisneros, José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, Miguel Herrero de Miñon, Miquel Roca, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Gregorio Peces-Barba and Jordi Solé Tura.

The Constitution was approved by the Cortes on 31 October 1978, and by the Spanish people in a referendum on 6 December 1978, before being promulgated by King Juan Carlos on 27 December. The Constitution set out how the government would be run, what powers they had and determined the governmental system that Spain would operates on.

Constitution day is therefore a celebration of the day Spain became a democracy and 6 December has since been a national holiday in Spain.

The day is seen as the start of the December holidays and a long weekend is normally taken in conjunction with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In recent years however, Constitution Day has become more popular for protest marches and political statements.

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