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Public holidays in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands

Another reader's question: "What holidays are celebrated in the Canary Islands?", the answer is that these are primarily based upon the Public holidays celebrated in Spain, which includes a mix of religious (Roman Catholic), national and regional observances, as well as some hyper-local ones too.

National Holidays
 DateEnglish nameLocal name
January 1New Year's DayAño Nuevo
MoveableGood FridayViernes Santo
May 1Labour DayDía del Trabajador
August 15AssumptionAsunción
October 12Columbus DayDía de la Hispanidad
November 1All SaintsTodos los Santos
December 6Constitution DayDía de la Constitución
December 8Immaculate ConceptionInmaculada Concepción
December 25Christmas DayNavidad del Señor

In addition to those, Canaries Day - Día de Canarias is celebrated here on May 30th and Epiphany - Día de Reyes is a public holiday on January 6th. Although the latter is listed as optional, it is the big day of the Christmas period, so I think there would be civil unrest if it wasn't observed! And each island has it's own holiday, which, in Tenerife is usually Feb 2nd, Candlemas.

Wikipedia additionally says that Holy Thursday - Jueves Santo (the day before Good Friday), is not observed as a holiday in the Canary Islands. However, every year except 2007 (when it was swapped out for something else and many complained bitterly) it has been observed in Tenerife, to my knowledge.

You also have to add local holidays, usually for the patron / fiesta of individual towns. Shops might close in one area, but are open just a few miles away. In Santa Cruz, Shrove Tuesday is always a holiday for Carnival. Each municipality declares two additional days of local holidays, which, once added to the national, regional and island ones, adds up to 14 public holidays, decreed by law.

People often say that Spain has a lot of public holidays and it seems so, but this is a fallacy as you have to remember that Spain has a six-day working week. 

Anyway visitors need not worry about finding things to do and getting fed. With the economy relying on tourism, somewhere will be open 365 days a year, particularly in the resorts. Even in other areas, if the day off is for a fiesta, then there'll be processions to watch and plenty of hot dog and food stalls open.

If you live here, of course, you won't get any important business done on those days and, if you work here in anything to do with the tourist sector, the chances are that you will never have a day off on anyone's public holiday!

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

Sunbathing SantaDesert Island ChristmasScuba Diving SantaTropical Santa
Santa's Having a Whale of a TimeSurfing SantaWaterski SantaCamel Rodeo Santa
With a wide range of products in each design, click the pics (above) to see the full selections.