Imported from the USA, this is a workers day off and as it falls on a Sunday this year, the following Monday is taken as the holiday.
This day off for workers has its roots in the fight for workers rights in the USA in the late 1880’s and eventually led to the advent of the 8 hour working day, with Spain being the first European country to recognise this officially.
Ironically, Labor Day in the USA is actually celebrated in September (not May), while pretty much the rest of the world has some kind of May Day holiday.
May Day celebrations can be traced all the way to Celtic Beltane (last day of winter) and the Roman festival of Flora, held to celebrate fertility and the advent of spring.
What to expect in Spain on Dia de los Trabajadores
Banks, schools, public administration offices and some shops will be closed, and the larger retail outlets and superstores open, but with reduced hours. However, this is patchy so if you have plans to go shopping on your day off, be sure to check the opening hours with the relevant store.
Links to check opening hours for selected stores in Andalucía:
El Corte Inglés Marbella – closed Sunday 1st May, open as normal 2nd May
La Cañada Marbella – open all year
Centro Miramar Fuengirola – restaurants only open on 1st May, open as normal on 2nd May.
Plaza Mayor, Malaga – open Monday 2nd May
If shopping on a Bank Holiday is your worst nightmare, then take advantage of the fact that museums, tourist attractions and bars/restaurants are all open for you to enjoy!