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St Joseph's Day

St Joseph's Day 2018 and 2019

Saint Joseph’s Day is a public holiday in most regions of Spain, being observed in accordance with the Roman Catholic calendar of religious feasts every 19 March. However, it also doubles as Spain’s version of Father’s Day, El Dia del Padre.

YearDateDayHolidayAutonomous Communities
201819 MarMonSt Joseph's Day Murcia & Valencia
201919 MarTueSt Joseph's Day Murcia & Valencia
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The connection between the two holidays, which have become one in Spain, is that Joseph is held up as a sterling example of what a good father should be like, having raised Jesus as his adoptive father. Although no one calls Saint Joseph’s Day “Husband Day,” Joseph’s role as a loving husband to Mary, the mother of Jesus, is also remembered on this day.

March 19 has been dedicated to remembering Saint Joseph in the Catholic Church since the 10th Century A.D., though it was only officially established in 1479. The day always comes during Lent, and thus, family feasting on this holiday is a “meatless affair,” though still quite delicious. Symbols of the day include pictures of Joseph holding various carpenter tools, holding baby Jesus, or holding a staff blossoming with lilies.

It is traditional for children to cook their fathers breakfast on 19 March, give them a small gift, or take them out to a restaurant. Those whose fathers have passed away often give money to charities in the name of their deceased father.