Constitution Day is a Spanish holiday commemorating the adoption of Spain’s current constitution, which passed by referendum on 6 December 1978.
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Though the monarchy was retained, the new constitution ended the 36-year rule of Francisco Franco and established a constitutional, limited monarchy that was essentially democratic in nature.
The lead-up to the new constitution came with the death of Franco and new parliamentary elections held in June of 1977. The parliament proceeded to write up the constitution. It passed overwhelmingly with 88 percent of the vote, and King Juan Carlos signed it on 27 December. From that time on, 6 December has been a public holiday in Spain.
Official celebrations of Constitution Day are primarily engaged in only by government officials. A select few high school students are honoured to come to the parliament building in Madrid and publicly read a copy of the constitution there.
The flag of Spain is prominently displayed on Constitution Day. Its red and yellow bands of colour so familiar to modern Spaniards were first adopted as part of the constitution ratified in 1978, so it is more than “routine patriotism” that makes it appropriate to fly this flag on 6 December.