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A Day of Solidarity: The Spirit of Labor Day in Spain

Labor Day in Spain is a national holiday where employees do not work that day. However, it is a celebration of the Chicago martyrs and the triumph achieved concerning the rights of workers in Spain. Furthermore, on this day workers receive honors for their work and contribution to development.

In this article, we will delve deeper into this national celebration that not only honors the worker but means much more. You will also learn about Labor Day events Spain, specifically in Galicia and Catalonia.

Solidarity and Community Initiatives on Labor Day

labor day in spain

The people in Spain celebrate Labor Day on May 1 and no one works in the entire Spanish region. However, according to statistics, only 1 in 7 people are a member of Spanish labor unions. Likewise, if this special day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will officially be a day off.

On the other hand, shops, schools, and other businesses close their doors and only tourist attractions remain open. About transport service in the country, on this Labor Day in Spain there is a minimum service for the public.

Community Service Projects and Labor Day

An excellent way to celebrate Labor Day in Spain is to organize community service projects. In this case, people can do so by partnering with a charity to understand the needs of a community. Also, this will serve to organize volunteers to carry out the chosen project based on local needs.

Similarly, with this you can demonstrate the commitment of your company to its community, causing a positive impact. In addition, it is an ingenious way to give back to the community for the contributions and efforts made.

Local Initiatives for Workers Welfare

In the law, the Spanish workers rights must be taken very seriously, so companies need to implement initiatives for their well-being. Below are some initiatives that contribute to worker well-being:

Prioritize occupational health and safety

In workplaces in Spain, it is necessary to implement policies dedicated to risk prevention. Likewise, to implement the policy, you could partner with external agencies specializing in risk prevention or independently. Moreover, employees themselves have the right to give their input in matters of occupational safety and health.

Thus, they could do training to learn about the dangers they may face in their work position. Additionally, Spanish labor unions contributed to imposing regulations for the well-being of remote workers. For example, that the remote worker has the right to have his privacy and finish his work at the end of the day.

 Likewise, they will have the right to remain disconnected from the internet on vacation or at the end of the work day.

Legal Assistance for Workers

According to employment laws, the Spanish workers’ rights are comprehensive, which is why you provide them with protection. Also, aspects of labor and collective relations are regulated by legislation on the status of workers.

Additionally, they regulate collective agreements that have to do with rights, obligations, minimum wages, and groups of professionals in particular areas. After the economic crisis of 2008, Spain had labor reforms in 2012 and 2021. Hence, in these resolutions, solved the high percentage of temporary work that existed in Spain.

Likewise, other recent legislation established job security at work, data protection, remote work, and gender equality. They also implement the formation of labor contracts, delivery platform workers, and social security to all the employees in the country. Furthermore, an investigation about the well-being of employees in Spain produced mixed data.

For example, a household, after collecting taxes, had € 20,000, which is low compared to the OECD average of € 27,568. Equally, there is a huge difference between those who earn average salaries and those who earn much more.

Therefore, the latter earns 20% more than the average salary. Similarly, fewer paid workers earn 62% less than the OECD average of 68%.

In Spain, there is a balance between work and life

There is a good balance between work and life in the country. Hence, employees who work overtime represent only 4% less than the 11% of the OECD average. Additionally, employees record a working day of 1,686 per year, which is less than the OECD average of 1,726 hours.

On the other hand, the Spanish workers’ rights according to labor law regulate the maximum time in which the employee will work. Likewise, it regulates vacation leave and establishes a balance between personal and work visas. Moreover, they applied some methods to control and reduce the amount of overtime work hours.

However, according to some studies, employees in Spain suffer from work stress and depression, which is the second cause of work disability. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of this to control work stress in Spanish employees.

Labor Day Celebrations across Spanish Regions

Labor Day in Spanish culture begins on the weekend of this date annually. Thus, these parties will start on Friday night when they open the beer tent and end on Monday morning. Likewise, on Monday there is a parade of Labor Day and also a Madrid Lions Club Chicken Dinner.

Additionally, to the parade and dinner, there are multiple celebrations for Labor Day in Spain such as fireworks, and family activities, among others.

Galicia’s Coastal Celebrations in Spain

Labor Day in Spain there are the so-called May festivities, celebrated on May 1 in the city of Pontevedra. These festivals are part of the cycle of Maio or May cycle. In addition, it originated with pre-Roman civilizations and celebrates nature when spring begins.

Thus, during these festivals, people dance and sing around the Mayos, which are structures inspired by trees. However, nowadays, they take different forms adorned with flowers, fruits, and leaves. Besides, the structure of this May consists of a stick skeleton in the shape of a cone or pyramid covered in burlap or metal fabric.

Likewise, people cover this with mofo, herb, or fennel and assemble it on a stretcher-shaped platform with which it is carried through the streets. Similarly, on the surface of the structure with common materials, they draw flowers, leaves, ferns, fennel, bougainvilleas, or eggs. Also, people decorate it above with a crown that has a cross on it.

Currently, according to the imagination of the people, they make Mayos with other shapes such as bridges, houses, animals, and human figures, among others. On the coasts, the people who prepare celebrations make the Mayos in the shape of a boat.

Catalonia’s Unique Labor Day Traditions

Labor Day in Spanish culture has many variants and some prefer to spend these days in the City of Barcelona. Also, the city is in Barcelona and offers many ways to spend a good day. However, as it is Labor Day, many businesses and establishments close.

For this reason, you should look for information about what you want to do to be sure that the place that offers it is open. The Labor Day events Spain, specifically In Barcelona, you can enjoy the outdoors or anywhere that is open that day. For example, if you want to enjoy culture, you can visit the Gothic quarter of Barcelona.

Hence, regardless of whether you are a resident or a tourist, you will surely enjoy this area of the city for the secrets it has. Likewise, you can visit the Barcelona Cathedral, which is an emblem and a Gothic architectural jewel. Also, you can go to the royal square where you can have some refreshments while watching passersby pass by.

Then you will find Ramblas where you can celebrate Labor Day in Spain and go to the Boquera market to try some tapas. You can also visit the Tibidabo amusement park, where you can have a good day enjoying its charms.

On the other hand, if the sea is your thing, go to the promenade of the Catalan capital, where you can enjoy good restaurants in the port. Or visit the cable car that connects the port of Miramar to that of Mojtjuic, which has an exhibition from 1929

Traditional Catalan Cuisine on Labor Day

labor day in spain

You can enjoy Labor Day in Spain by trying typical Catalan dishes with vegetables. These vegetables fresh from a garden are one of the most important ingredients in Catalan food. Below are some of these typical dishes from the area:

El Calçot/Calsot

The Calçot is a type of onion collect in the winter season. Although it grows in Terres de l’Ebre, it is typical in the Valls area. Cooks roast this onion over the fire to peel it later and they accompany it with romesco sauce which makes it a delight. Likewise, in the so-called calçotadas, people serve the calçots first and then a grill made with lamb or sausage.

Additionally, you accompany it with wines from Penedés or Priorat. Therefore, if you want to take advantage of this plan, go to the Penedés Winery or the Wineries in Priorat where you will find the best calçots.


The best companion for calçot is a sauce made with garlic, hazelnut or almond, olive oil, and yearling as the main ingredients.


In autumn, mushrooms are a delicious ingredient. Of them, we find the niscalos, the trumpet, and the camagroc, which are the most common. Likewise, in the spring season, the murgola is the most coveted mushroom but the king of them in Cep, which is the most used in gastronomy.

The Escalivada

Another dish that you can enjoy in Caluña on Labor Day in Spain or at any time is Escalivada. Thus, this dish is prepared with roasted eggplant, pepper, and onion, which are then served cold or also warm, as a salad. Additionally, it is accompanied with olive oil.

The Esqueixada

Esqueixada is a Catalan food made with roasted peppers and shredded cod. In contrast, with the sweetness of the pepper, the salty flavor of the cod and the olive oil makes a spectacular Catalan dish.

The Xatonada

This dish is a salad that brings together local products in a delicious salad. Also, the dish is made with escarole with anchovies, olives, and col, and is seasoned with romesco sauce. Moreover, it is a map of the province of Barcelona in the area of Penedéx and Garraf.


This Catalan and Valencian recipe is similar to the dish called floor. Therefore, its main ingredients are zucchini, eggplant, onion, and sometimes pepper. To this, they add rosemary and thyme and it is eaten as an accompaniment to fish and meat.

The Mongetes

Mongetes are a food similar to white beans, that is very buttery and are an accompaniment to grilled meat as well as other things. However, it has a cold alternative called Empedrat which is a salad based on white beans, tomato onion, and shredded cod.


It is a dish you can enjoy on a work day in Spain, with a more Mediterranean composition, accompanied by meat, fish, and vegetables. Likewise, you can eat this food as a starter or mid-morning and as a snack. In addition, people use onion, tomato, and pepper and they add sardine, tuna, or sausage to prepare this dish. Furthermore, you can find a version with Samfaina.

The Trinxat

People consume this typical dish in autumn or winter because it contains potatoes, cabbage, and bacon, which makes it very consistent. Also, it is a kind of potato cake, with cabbage and leek, with a bacon dressing.

As you have seen, Labor Day in Spainis more than a simple celebration, it is a way to recognize and appreciate workers. In addition, it helps to remember the importance of applying fair labor laws for all. Likewise, the right to have safe working conditions and many other rights those workers have in the country. If you want to know more about this and other related topics, you can contact us and we will expand on what you have seen here.

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