Aragon Day in Spain Date in the current year: April 23, 2024

Aragon Day in Spain The Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon and Castile and León celebrate the feast of Saint George, observed annually on April 23, as their respective national days. The Day of Aragon commemorates the Battle of Alcoraz, which was an important battle of the Reconquista.

Aragon is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, consisting of three provinces: Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza. Although the region has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the history of modern Aragon began during the Middle Ages, when the County of Aragon emerged in the early 9th century.

The county was soon absorbed into the Kingdom of Pamplona (later Navarre). In 1035, Ramiro, the ruler of Aragon, achieved its independence and established the Kingdom of Aragon. Following the marriage of King Ferdinand II of Aragon to Isabella I of Castile in 1469, the crowns of Aragon and Castile entered into a union, which resulted in the emergence of Spain as a state.

The kingdom of Aragon de jure ceased to exist and was merged with Castile to officially form the Kingdom of Spain in 1715. The region became an autonomous community of Spain in 1982, four years after the adoption of the new constitution of Spain that marked the culmination of the country’s transition to democracy after the fall of Francisco Franco’s authoritarian regime.

The patron saint of Aragon is Saint George. His patronage can be traced back to the Battle of Alcoraz, which was fought between 1094 and 1096 outside the city of Huesca. The battle was initiated by King of Aragon Sancho Ramirez, who besieged Huesca to recapture it from the Moors.

During the siege, Sancho Ramizers was shot to death by an arrow. His son and heir, Peter I of Aragon and Pamplona, continued the siege. According to legend, the Christian army was heavily outnumbered and the morale was low. One day during the battle, Saint George appeared on the battlefield to inspire the Christian forces to defeat the Moors and establish control over Huesca.

Since then, Saint George has been venerated as the patron of Aragon, and his feast day has been associated with the Battle of Alcoraz, although its exact dates are unclear. In Aragon, Saint George’s Day is alternatively known as the Day of Aragon; it is an official holiday in the autonomous community.

Aragon Day is marked by church services dedicated to Saint George, flag raising ceremonies, cultural and musical performances, traditional craft fairs, various parades, marches and rallies, flower displays, and other events held throughout the autonomous community, especially in its capital city of Zaragoza. On the occasion of the holiday, people who’ve made a special contribution to the autonomous community are presented the Aragon Awards (Premios Aragon).

Since Aragon Day is a public holiday in the autonomous community, schools, government organizations, banks, and many businesses are closed, although some grocery stores and bakeries choose to remain open. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, the closest Friday or Monday may be declared a non-working day.

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