Day 6 DEC
Día de la Constitución - Constitution
This day marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved. This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy.
The Francisco Franco was head of state in Spain from April 1, 1939, until November 20, 1975. Spain needed a new constitution and political system after his death. General elections were held on June 15, 1977. The newly formed parliament started drew up a new constitution. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 was approved by 88 percent of the people of Spain in a referendum on December 6, 1978.
What Do People Do?
On the days before Constitution Day, children and young people have extra lessons on the history, politics and constitution of Spain. Each year, a selection of high school students is invited to read the Constitution in the Lower House of the parliamentary buildings in Madrid a few days before December 6. The parliamentary buildings are open to the public for one or two days. A cocktail party is held in the parliamentary buildings on December 6. Constitution Day is a quiet day off work for most people. They spend time at home relaxing with family members or close friends.
Constitution Day is a national public holiday. Public life is generally very quiet, and most businesses and other organizations are closed. Most stores are closed, although some bakers and food stores may be open. Public transport services generally run to a reduced schedule, although there may be no services in rural areas. Official ceremonies may cause some congestion in Madrid.
If December 6 falls on a Sunday, regional or local authorities can move the public holiday to a different date. If December 6 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, December 5, or Friday, December 7.
Physical representations of the Spanish Constitution are important symbols of Constitution Day. An original copy, signed by King Juan Carlos I, is in the building of the Spanish Congress of Deputies on the Carrera de San Jerónimo in Madrid.
The national flag of Spain consists of two horizontal red bands separated by a yellow band. The red bands are of equal width and the yellow band is twice as wide as each red band. This version of the flag was confirmed in the constitution of 1978. The national flag is widely displayed on private homes, public buildings and even public transport vehicles on Constitution Day. It may be displayed alone or together with the European and regional flags.
A monument in Madrid to commemorate the Spanish Constitution of 1978:
Immaculate Conception in Spain
Many Christian communities around the world annually observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. This day is a holy day of obligation in which many Christians, particularly of the Catholic faith, attend special church services for this occasion.
Theological controversy surrounded the Feast of the Immaculate Conception for centuries. However popular celebration of this holiday dates back to at least the eighth century. The argument related to the meaning of the word “immaculate”, which in this context refers to the belief that Jesus’ mother Mary was conceived without original sin, according to Christian belief.
Many theologians throughout Christian history, including St Thomas Aquinas, questioned the Immaculate Conception. It remained open for debate for many years until Pope Pius IX proclaimed it to be an essential dogma in the Catholic Church on December 8, 1854. The written document on this is known as the Ineffabilis Deus. Since then, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the belief that Mary was born without sin and that God chose her to be Jesus’ mother. Many Anglicans in the world also hold this belief.
What Do People Do?
Many Christians around the world, particularly those of the Catholic faith, mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in their diaries and calendars. Church services (or masses) to honor this observance are held on December 8. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday in some places, such as Guam and Malta, so many people in these areas have a day off work or school.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a public holiday in places such as:
Guam, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States.
It is not a nationwide public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States (except Guam).
Various paintings, statues and other forms of artwork have been made depicting the Immaculate Conception. They usually show Mary as a young woman dressed in white and blue. She is often standing on a hill or raised area and has a halo of stars around her head. The pieces of art may also include images of clouds, golden lights, cherubs, lilies or roses. One well-known example associated with the Immaculate Conception is a statue known as Our Lady of Camarin (Santa Marian Kamalen), which was found on the shores of Merizo in Guam more than 300 years ago.
Various images depicting the Immaculate Conception often feature the Virgin Mary as a young woman: