For most of humanity, public holidays are a breathlessly awaited godsend. But when you work independently, and are living in a new country, they can be an unexpected nuisance.
Like today, for instance. I woke up early, intending to get a paper and sit at my favorite café for breakfast. Oh, the plans I had for the day! A haircut, shopping, registering for social security… yes, I’ll need a hearty breakfast for power!
On stepping out, it took me awhile to notice how silent the city was. No cars, no businessmen, even the ever-present hippie drug dealer at the corner was absent. And of course, everything was closed. Assumption Day!
Assumption Day is a national holiday?! My plans were destroyed, my life sent into utter turmoil, all because Mary had to ascend into heaven.
Never again will I be caught off guard! Here is a full list of holidays in Valencia. Be prepared! But note: these dates are for 2008 — some of the holidays (like Easter) might fall on other days in 2009.
January 1st – New Year’s Day
January 22nd – San Vicente Martir
March 19th – San José – Also: End of Fallas
March 20th – Holy Thursday
March 21st – Good Friday
March 24th – Easter Monday
March 31st – San Vicente Ferrer – Falls on the Monday after Easter
May 1st – Labor Day
August 15th – Assumption Day – Lame!
October 9th – Day of the Valencian Community
November 1st – All Saints Day
December 6th – Day of the Constitution
December 8th – Immaculate Conception
December 25th – Christmas
Just an observation, and probably something most Christians wonder about at some point in their upbringing: if the Immaculate Conception was December 8th, doesn’t that make Jesus the ultimate preemie?