Andalucia Day (Día de Andalucía)
Día de Andalucía is celebrated on February 28th. It marks the anniversary of a referendum held in 1980, where a large majority of voters supported the move allowing Andalucía to become an autonomous community in Spain.
What is an Autonomous Region?
Many Andalucíans have a far stronger loyalty to their own region than to their country.
I didn’t know what an ‘autonomous community in Spain’ was until I came to live here. Admittedly to some Expats it just means yet another bank holiday and we certainly have plenty of them!
Autonomous areas are defined as areas of Spain that have freedom from the main authority. They are independent of the laws of another state or government. They are self-governing, and taxes can vary in each region.
You will see Andalucía’s flag hanging from official buildings, as well as balconies. You’ll also see it waving from flag posts, usually along with the Spanish flag and the European flag.
In the middle of the Andalucía flag, you will see the coat of arms, which consists of an image of the mythical Greek hero Heracles between two columns. The columns represent the Pillars of Heracles. These are the rocks on either side of the Straits of Gibraltar.
The Capitol of Andalucía is Seville. It is the second largest autonomous area and has the largest population out of the 17 autonomous regions in Spain.
Competa is in the Axarquia region of Andalcuia, and Velez-Malaga is the Capitol.
Día de Andalucía is a public holiday only in Andalucía The majority of the Andalusian’s have this day off. Schools, banks, post office, civil services and most businesses are closed.
This year it falls on a Tuesday, and celebrations will go ahead among the families, The Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) usually arrange a walk for the villagers to go on. It has always been well organised I have not heard if this is happening again this year.
The Ayuntamiento drape banners on the walls and windows at the front of the building in the colours of the Andalucian flag.
You will always find bread shops and most food stores in the villages will be open, certainly in the mornings. On the coast all major shops will be closed, it’s not like in the UK where you can go on a bank holiday and find all the DIY shops and shopping centres open.
I love the Spanish way of life where public holidays are days to spend with your family. Sundays are still a day of rest, families still meet and will spend a day on the beach together. From great-great grandparents down to newborn babies. It is lovely to see them all together with their fold-away tables and chairs and cool boxes full of food and drink. I would have loved to have grown up here when I was a child.
Public transport services generally run to a Sunday schedule and there may be no services in rural areas.
On this day, you will see the bars and restaurants full. You’ll find plenty of live music and frivolity going on. In the major cities, there will be processions taking place.
There will be loads of fun in Cómpeta! Most of the bars and restaurants will be serving traditional Andalucían dishes (watch out for another blog coming soon on Traditional Andalucían dishes).
Children celebrate in their schools with special parties, eating a regional breakfast (orange juice and toast with olive oil), learning about local history and singing the Andalucian anthem…
The green and white flag
returns, after centuries of war
to say peace and hope
under the sun of our land
Demand land and freedom!
May Andalusia be free!
Spain and all Mankind! (too)
To find out about the gems surrounding us and what activities there are for you to do whilst staying at villa Andalucia just click here