The science of Spanish Weekendology

Today is a very important day. It’s important not because it’s the day of Immaculate Conception and an official holiday in Spain, but because it is one of two pillar days in an Aqueduct Weekend. But, let’s take it slowly as the Aqueduct is definitely the more advanced element in Spanish Weekendology. How about starting with the basics before we move in to this.

The Bridge

A much-loved type of weekend throughout Spain or just about anywhere in the world for that matter. This is a weekend where you have a holiday that falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday and naturally this means that taking off the respective Monday or Friday by spanning it and giving yourself a four day weekend makes a lot of sense. Before I see the “lazy freakin’ Spaniards” thought cross your mind, let me remind you that we love doing this in the US with the 4th of July. If it’s on a Tuesday or Thursday then shabam-presto, a four day weekend is made.
These Bridge Weekends happen quite a bit and travel planners look far down to the road to anticipate them, offering packages for what they assume will be a four day weekend. Can’t say that I blame them.

The Aqueduct

This is less a weekend and more a weekoff, but it is the Holy Grail of time off. In Spain, there are two holidays that fall one day apart from each other. The first is the aforementioned holiday for the Immaculate Conception. The second is the Constitution Day on December 6th. So, you get the 6th and the 8th which, if they fall on a Tuesday and a Thursday form the central pillars of the Aqueduct with the starting and ending weekends forming the other sides. Naturally, if you have off two days off in the middle of the week that are a day apart, then what is really the point of those other three days? The point is to take them off as well and have a nice, nine day holiday at the beginning of December if you can afford it.
The next one of these is going to happen in 2011 and you can bet that there are people who have already planned for it. The Spanish plan these things way, way down the road and I think that they’re one of the few things in Spain that might be valued higher than jamón, although that’s a pretty strong thing to say, so I put it forth with reservation.

Other Weekends. Other Places.

What I like about Spain is that they don’t really try to hide the fact that they do these weekends. On the contrary, how it’s done in the US is a bit more annoying as there’s the Fatass Weekend wherein people just spread the Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving in to being a whole week but don’t admit to it. Then of course there’s the Silent Nights Weekend where people work it out to take off either the week between Christmas and New Year’s or just take two full weeks off during that time altogether. No one ever wants to admit that they’re doing this and because of email they can act like they’re in the office all the time. We know that it happens and really, just fess up to it or better yet, just close down the place for a week. We all know that we like holidays.
The science of Spanish Weekendology