LA INMACULADA CONCEPCIÓN — DECEMBER 8TH
The Immaculate Conception is one of the four dogmas of Roman Catholic Mariology, which is the study of the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many people mistakenly believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus Christ; however, this feast-day actually celebrates the conception of Jesus’s mother, Mary (in Spain, it is also known as La Purísima, ie. the very pure one). The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church argue that, to be the mother of God, Mary herself had to be born free from original sin and thus had to be protected from original sin at conception. However the Immaculate Conception is not featured in The Bible, which gives no mention of Mary being anything other than an ordinary woman. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception originated with the question of how Jesus could be sinless if he was conceived inside the womb of a sinful human female. It was officially laid down in December 8th, 1854 by Pope Pius IX and today many countries where Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion celebrate that day with a public holiday.
SPANISH CONSTITUTION DAY — DECEMBER 6TH
After the death of Franco on November 20th, 1975, Spain was in dire need of a new political system, as well as a new constitution. A newly elected assembly (Constituent Cortes) began the drawing up of the Constitution in 1977 with seven selected members of the parliament chosen to create a draft document—they became known as the ‘fathers of the Constitution’. The Constitution was approved on October 31st, 1978 by the Congreso de los Diputados and by the Spanish people on December 6th in a referendum. Eighty-eight percent of those who voted agreed to the new Constitution. It was promulgated on December 27th by King Juan Carlos I, and became law the following day. The 1978 Spanish Constitution created the current political landscape in the country with its 17 self-governing regions, although autonomy in Catalunya had been restored the previous year with the return from exile of the president of the Generalitat. In recent times, the Constitution has created controversy in Catalunya for various reasons. Perhaps the most important was the June 2010 decision of the Constitutional Court to strike down various parts of the region’s new Statute of Autonomy (2006), following an appeal brought against it by the PP. This was despite its approval by both Catalan and Spanish parliaments, and the Catalan people in a referendum.