In the autonomous community of Extremadura in Spain, a public holiday called Dia de Extremadura, or The Day of Extremadura, is celebrated as a public holiday. This day is observed annually on the 8th of September and it commemorates the birth of the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary.
It’s not just a religious holiday, however, on which people attend religious services. It’s also a civic holiday that’s observed with sporting events, culture and language celebrations, barbecues and communal meals, as well as local agricultural shows and fairs. It’s also a day off for the general public, and many businesses and schools are closed.
The History Of The Day of Extremadura
Extremadura is an autonomous Spanish community. It’s on the border of Portugal, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and Leon, Andalusia, and Castile-La Mancha. It became an autonomous community within Spain on February 26th, 1983. In 1985, a law was passed that proclaimed the 8th of September as a public holiday that not only celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary, but also Extremadura’s culture. This public holiday was first observed on September 8th, 1985.
The statue that’s located in Santa María de Guadalupe monastery in Guadalupe was supposedly carved in 84 CE by a Christian saint named Luke the Evangelist. It was then given to Saint Leander of Seville around the 6th century. When Seville was taken by the moors, it was secretly removed by a group of priests who buried near the Guadalupe River.
In the 14th century, the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd and ordered priests to dig near where she made an appearance. According to the story, this is where they discovered the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe and it’s there they built a shrine to it. The shrine would then become the monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe.
Observing The Day of Extremadura
This holiday is observed in several different ways, many with special devotional services that are held at the monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in the village of Guadalupe. Inside this monastery is the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Extremadura.
Of course, other activities are also held in Extremadura. These include sports competitions, language and cultural celebrations, fairs, agricultural shows, and communal meals. There’s also a celebration of Extremaduran wine and food. Foods that are popular in the region include La Retorta Mini, Ternera de Extremadura, and Caldereta de Cordero.
When is Day Of Extremadura?
|This year (2022)||September 8 (Thursday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2023)||September 8 (Friday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2021)||September 8 (Wednesday)||Multiple dates - more|