Great!!! We are enjoying the opportunity to layback for a whole calendar week. Everything in the country is kept especially quiet this week because both, the 6th and 8th of December, are Bank Holidays. This year, these dates are on Tuesday and Thursday, which gives to thousands of Spaniards an excellent opportunity to have a week long break, just when Christmas is around the corner. This week is a good opportunity to travel around Spain to enjoy the richness avd diversity of this vast country.
December 6th, as we explained on the post “What is Constitution Day” is a remarkable Bank Holiday because it is the day in which the Spanish “Carta Magna” (La Constitución), the highest legal bill – the milestone of the current Democracy, came into force in 1978 after 37 hard years of dictatorship, and an extra five years of political transition.
If the current recession has hit us hard, the restrictions of the Dictatorship were even harder before the 6th of December 1978. Spaniards from my generation (70s) heard many stories about how hard it was for our grandparents who arrived at school every morning at 8.30am and had to sing the “Cara al Sol”, the equivalent to the national anthem at the time. After the school, strong catholic and moral guidelines ruled the daily routine – outdoors and indoors in the worst of the cases. But in every generation, people did their best to achieve happiness. Certainly it happened during the Spanish Dictatorship and it is happening now in this one, the toughest recession in 30 years.
Let us go to the point. What happens on the 8th of December? Why is everybody off on the 8th of December? The 8th of December is one of the purest religious feast of the year. Spaniards celebrate the day of the Inmaculada Concepcion (Immaculate conception ). What is it? Is that such an important event in order to arrange a Bank Holiday in Spain?… more than 40 million people officially off work?
Let us explain what this is about. This is about a purely Catholic feast held by the belief that Maria, the mother of Jesus Christ, is the only human being in the planet free of sin.
The belief is there. It is a strong and particular belief to sustain that “carnal” temptation has nothing to do with religion. Maria gave birth but she never experienced temptation and of course there were no such fact. Maria with a man? NO… of course NO.
Neither the Orthodox nor the Protestant Church share this Catholic believe. And that is one of the beauties of this feast.
I believe in God, (in my way), and I am from point of view that Jesus Christ was an amazing chap… a revolutionary at the time. But there is big gap from that starting point to belief that Maria gave birth to Jesus Christ because an Angel touched her. No temptation.
Either you share this belief or not… enjoy the feast and remember that Maria Inmaculada is one of the most authentic and welcome religious festivities in Spain. Congratulations to all Inmaculada and Concepcion.
About the author:
Daniel Talavera is a Spanish journalist with experience as a business developer and investor in the property market, who regularly reviews the continually changing Spanish property scene to evaluate emerging opportunities. He manages www.thespanishbrick.com
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