‘Día de la Constitución’ or Constitution Day in Spanish on December 6 marks the anniversary of a referendum in Spain in 1978. On this day, Spain freed itself from authoritarian rule and approved a new constitution that laid out the rights of the people. This was an essential step for Spain as it freed itself from the clutches of a sole dictator and gave the nation the power to express its beliefs and live freely. Seeing the struggle of the Spanish people, it is essential to celebrate the beginning of a new democracy with a bang!
History of Día de la Constitución
Before we consider the history of the Spanish Constitution, let’s first understand what the piece of paper truly means. A constitution lays out the laws of a nation that determine the powers and duties of the government. The constitution also serves as a document that guarantees certain rights to the people and ensures their safety. Moreover, when ‘Día de la Constitución’ was formed, it ended the 36-year rule of Francisco Franco and established a constitutional, limited monarchy. This was a required step to help the concept of democracy flourish.
When Franco died, new parliamentary elections were held in June 1977. The constitution was passed with 88% of the vote and approved by the Spanish Parliament on October 31, 1978. Furthermore, the Spanish people voted in a referendum on December 6, 1978, and King Juan Carlos signed it on December 27. From there on, December 6 has been a public holiday in Spain.
Since the document was formed after many consultations, the seven-panel members chosen to work on the constitution draft are called ‘Los Padres de la Constitución,’ meaning the ‘Fathers of the Constitution.’ Since the transition to democracy was a complicated process, the country also takes great pride in its achievements with loud and proud celebrations during this holiday. In fact, many people use the occasion to hold protest marches and make political statements. On the day, Spain’s Congress also opens its doors to the public and welcomes visits.
Día de la Constitución timeline
General Francisco Franco’s authoritarian reign begins.
Before his death, he appoints prince Juan Carlos as his successor.
A new constitutional assembly convenes under the guidance of prince Juan Carlos I.
88% of the Spanish people approves the new constitution on December 6, officially marking Spain’s transformation into a constitutional monarchy.
Día de la Constitución FAQs
Is Constitution Day a public holiday in Spain?
Yes, December 6 has been a public holiday in Spain since 1978.
Which countries border Spain?
Portugal, France, and Andorra border Spain.
What does Section 14 of the Spanish Constitution say?
According to the constitution, every person has a right to freedom and security.
How to Observe ‘Día de la Constitución’
Throw a party
Celebrate the Constitution of Spain by throwing a party and celebrating the beginning of a fair, democratic rule.
Watch a documentary
Need to know more about Spanish history? Watch a documentary on the history of Spain to find out all there is to know.
Educate the kids
To ensure no one forgets the history of Spain and its constitution, educate your kids by telling them all you know. If you're a Hispanic student, also check out some great Hispanic scholarship opportunities.
5 Important Facts About Spain
Around 400 million people speak the language.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Spain has the fourth most World Heritage Sites in the world, with 49 heritage sites.
The fifth-largest population in Europe
The country is home to 47 million people.
After 2008, 40% of businesses set up in Spain had female entrepreneurs.
The second-highest unemployment rate in Europe
In 2019, the unemployment rate was 13,8%.
Why ‘Día de la Constitución’ is Important
It reminds everyone of the constitution’s importance
This day reminds us how important a constitution is and why democracy is essential for every nation.
It commemorates monumental change
Without Constitution Day, Spain may have turned out differently. The country’s transformation is one for the ages.
Informs people about their rights
Since the day discusses the constitution, it helps reveal interesting facts about our rights, and it’s an informative day that educates people.
Día de la Constitución dates