October 2023 Update: Everything That Changes In Spain This Week

October is set to be an incredibly busy month in Spain. The country will see public holidays, new train routes, and may even see a brand new government. Here is a full breakdown of everything you can expect to change or be updated if you’re living in Spain this month:

Spain’s National Day

12th October is a public holiday in Spain. The day commemorates the so-called 'discovery' of the Americas by Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) and is known as El Día de la Hispanidad. This year the holiday falls on a Thursday which means many people will also take Friday off work and Spain will enjoy a very busy long weekend.

If you live in Valencia then you will enjoy two public holidays in one week as 9th October is also a national holiday in the region.

Over events and festivals taking place in Spain this month include Zaragoza’s famous Fiestas del Pilar, San Froilán in the Galician city of Lugo and the Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) reenactment festival in Crevillent in Alicante.

A New Government

Spain may see a new government being formed in October. Whilst Popular Party candidate Alberto Núñez Feijóo may have won the most votes in July’s snap election it looks unlikely that he will be invested as Prime Minister.

This means that Spain’s King Felipe will most likely ask caretaker PM Pedro Sánchez to attempt to form a government in October. This is likely to lead to heated debates in the country throughout the month.

The Clocks Will Change

People living in Spain will get an extra hour in bed this month. The clocks will go back an hour on Sunday October 29th. That means that at 3am Madrid time it will become 2am.

The European Parliament said 2021 would be the last year the clocks went back or forward, but in practice this never happens. According to current reports, the clocks will continue to change in Spain until at least 2026.

Time For Flu And Covid Vaccinations

This month all Spanish regions will start flu and covid-19 vaccination campaigns, if they didn’t already start working on these in September.

People aged 60 or over, care home and health centre residents over the age of five, high-risk under 60s, pregnant women in their third term, women who’ve just given birth, the immunosuppressed, health workers and essential workers are all advised to get their boosters and will be invited to attend their nearest clinic.

Two Eclipses Visible from Spain

Sky gazers will be interested to hear that Spain will experience two partial eclipses this month. These will take place on October 14th and 28th respectively.

October 14th’s eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse visible at dusk for only a few minutes. The best place to see it will be in the Canary Islands. October 28th’s lunar eclipse will see the Earth prevent sunlight from reaching the moon, generating "a cone of shadow that obscures the moon". It will last several hours and should be visible across Spain.

Updated Rules For Part Time Workers

The pro rata system in Spain will no longer hold any weight. From October 1st, a part time workday will be equal to a full workday in terms of giving employees access to benefits such as a pension or access certain welfare benefits such as temporary incapacity or care of a family member.

According to the Spanish social security’s website, it now doesn’t matter how many hours are worked on a part-time basis on any given day. A days work counts as a days work, no matter how many hours it involves.

Improved Rail Links

Spain’s state rail provider will begin to offer two more daily AVE trains between Málaga and Barcelona starting on October 17th. One will leave at 8.30am from the Andalusian coastal city and the other from Barcelona at 3.15pm. This means that a train will travel between the two cities four times a day.

An Indian Summer

Finally, Spain is currently experiencing an Indian summer. The weather is much warmer than average for the time of year. This is expected to continue into Autumn. As well as seeing warmer than average temperatures, October is also forecast to experience more rain than usual.

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