Summer officially ended several days ago, although overall temperatures are higher than normal in this start of Autumn, as it happens in many other places of the Northern Hemisphere.
As I mentioned in the post A New Season, it is in October when everyone is ‘up & running’ at work (or the search of it) and the activities they have chosen to do for the season or at least the beginning of it. Hopefully the latter of course… those intentions! It is also now that trainings and activities are confirmed so, in case you are not registered for or have planned to join them, it is the moment to do so. Whatever you choose it is a way to meet newcomers or active people.
On October 12th, the National Day (also “Dia de la Hispanidad”) takes place. It is a bank holiday to which many people will add another day off (on Friday, since the National Day will be on Thursday) to the weekend to build a “Puente” (bridge), as we call long weekends in Spain. Please note that this is usually feasible for the private sector, since schools and universities have fixed schedules. The National Day is in honour of the day Columbus arrived to the Española Island in his first trip to America and also to Saint Pilar, a very Spanish female name that is the one of my mother as well. So, if you happen to know any female with that name, make sure you say to her “Felicidades, Pilar” (Congratulations, Pilar). Happy Saint Day in advance, mom!
Other date to take note of is November 1st, All Saints’ Day (“Día de Todos los Santos”). The ‘bridge’ concept does not apply to it this year because it takes place on a Wednesday. By then we should already have more winter feeling, both for temperatures and day duration. This is a religious celebration in which we remember relatives and friends who passed away by bringing flowers to their graves. Special sweets are also prepared and eaten in this day. Depending on your region of residency, those are some of which you might taste then: “Panellets”, “Gachas Dulces”, “Huesos de Santo” and “Buñuelos de Viento” (in the links of interest section at the end of this article you find a page describing them).
To finish with the Bank holidays part, December 6th and 8th are also days that most people take off. The first commemorates the approval of our Constitution in 1978, and the latter corresponds to the Feast of Inmaculate Concepetion (“la Inmaculada”), a festivity in other Catholic countries in Europe such us Portugal, Italy or Austria. I am not fond of having two bank holidays like those with that distribution but it is what it is. Winter weather is already there in that time of the year and people use those days for travelling again and buying loads of presents for Christamas time and “Reyes” (The Three Kings celebration), the day of the 6th of January in which traditionally presents are given.
Celebrations and anticipation of Christmas aside with all the meals and dinners that take place during December prior to the break and the beginning of winter, autumn can still provide nice days for going to the beach (a couple of years ago I swam in the north of Spain in October) and of course viewing beautiful landscapes with different tonalities of tree leaves changing colours.
Do you like autumn? Any activity worth mentioning during this period? What do you usually do during those bank holidays?
Links of Interest
Cocina – Facilísimo, Dulces típicos para celebrar el Día de Todos los Santos (Typical sweets to celelebrate All Saints’ Day)
Wikipedia. Spanish National Day (“Fiesta Nacional de España”)
Wikipedia. Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day)
OfficeHolidays. Constitution Day
Wikipedia. Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Photos: Park in Aranjuez, municipality in the South of Madrid. Monument to the Spanish Constitution, Madrid.