Key points: Everything that changes in Spain in April 2023
From Holy Week processions and airport ground staff strikes to new rules for employees regarding sick days, here’s what you need to know about what’s happening in April in Spain.
Spain celebrates Semana Santa
One of Spain’s most important festivals – Semana Santa or Holy Week takes place this month. This year it’s on from April 2nd to April 9th. Many cities in Spain go all out during this time with passionate parades, music and elaborate religious floats. Some of the best cities to see the processions include the Andalusian cities of Seville, Málaga and Granada, as well as the Castilla y León cities of Zamora, Valladolid and León.
Many Spaniards also take time off work and go on holiday or spend time with their families. This means that many businesses and administrative services may be closed over the Easter break. Find out all about the other Easter traditions in Spain here.
READ ALSO: What are the best cities in Spain to see the Semana Santa processions?
Airport ground staff strikes in Spain to hit Easter travel
If you’re travelling by plane within or to Spain this Easter, then it’s worth keeping in mind that unionised Swissport ground has announced strikes every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, lasting until April 13th. The staff walkouts will impact services such as passenger assistance and air cargo handling and could lead to flight delays and cancellations. The airports affected are Alicante, Almería, Barcelona, Burgos, Gran Canaria, Huesca, Lanzarote, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Reus, Salamanca, Tenerife Sur, Valencia, Valladolid, and Zaragoza.
New rules for employees regarding sick days are introduced
From April 1st, workers in Spain will no longer have to get a medical leave of absence from their doctor for temporary illnesses. Instead, temporary absences due to illness will be communicated electronically to the administrators or bosses of your company. This was approved in the Royal Decree 1060/2022, of December 27th 2022 and enters into force this month.
Spain’s yearly tax campaign opens
Spain’s annual income tax return is called ‘la declaración de la renta‘. This year, you must file your taxes for 2022. The income tax campaign begins this year on April 11th. From this date, you can present your taxes for 2022 online.
According to Spain’s tax agency the Agencia Tributaria, nine out of every 10 declarations are done online. The campaign runs until June 30th, but you must complete it by June 27th if you want to pay by direct debit. This means that you have 11 weeks in order to take your papers in order and submit your returns.
READ ALSO – La Renta: The important income tax deadlines in Spain in 2023
Día de Sant Jordi or San Jorge
April 23rd marks St George’s Day and while it’s not celebrated all over the country, for certain regions it’s one of the most important days of the year. In Catalonia, Día de Sant Jordi is a celebration of the region’s patron saint and it is marked by the gifting of books and roses. Many towns and cities will be draped in the traditional red and yellow stripes of the Catalan flag, while dragons and roses decorate shop windows and squares.
April 23rd is also the Día de Aragón and a public holiday in the region. Like Catalonia, St George is also the patron saint of Aragón and the region celebrates with flower displays, cultural performances and family meals. St George’s Day is also recongised in the Balearic Islands and some places in Valencia and is marked with similar celebrations to Aragón and Catalonia.
UK driving licences can be exchanged for Spanish ones
British driving licence holders have been able to be back on the road since March 16th, thanks to the approval of a deal by the Spanish government. This means that you can now exchange your licence for a Spanish one. While you have six months in which to exchange, it’s best to get started on the process this month as you will have to book and take your psicotécnico medical exam, apply for an appointment at your local traffic office, gather all your documents and then wait at least a month and a half for processing until you can get your new licence. Find out all the steps you need to do the exchange.
Seville’s Feria de Abril takes place
Seville’s April Fair is one of the city’s most anticipated festivals in Andalusia, celebrating true Andalusian culture with lots of flamenco performances, passionate music and incredible colourful costumes. This year, it takes place from April 23rd to 29th. There will be lots of decorations, fairground rides, horse and carriages and casetas or marquees where the locals met to dance and party.
The Moros y Cristianos Festival is held
Moors and Christians festivals are held typically throughout the spring and summer seasons, but one of the best takes place in the town of Alcoy in Alicante. This year it takes place from April 22nd to April 24th. It commemorates the historical events that took place in 1276, related to the uprisings of the Muslims who inhabited the area, and takes you back in time to the Reconquista battles that saw the forces of the Catholic monarchs unite Spain. It too honours the patron saint of St George. During the event, teams dress up as Crusaders and Arabs to re-enact the battles.