Galician Literature Day in 2020

National and Public Holidays in Galicia, Spain State Holiday in Galicia

This celebration of the Galician language and its literature was initiated in 1963
Lugo, Galicia, Spain. Image by Cristina Macia , via Pixabay

When is Galician Literature Day?

How long until Galician Literature Day?
This holiday next takes place in 356 Days.
Dates of Statehood Day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Sunday
2019 Friday
2018 Thursday
2017 Wednesday
2016 Tuesday
1 Day
This celebration of the Galician language and its literature was initiated in 1963

Galician Literature Day (Galician: Día das Letras Galegas) is a regional public holiday in Galicia, Spain, observed on May 17th.

History of Galician Literature Day

In addition to the national public holidays, each autonomous community in Spain can declare two regional holidays. Usually, these are used to celebrate a saint of importance to the region or to honour some long-past battle (usually one that the region lost - as it seems that it is much more melodramatic to commemorate a noble defeat than the successful subjugation of a foe). In Galicia one of the regional holidays follows the normal course as the Feast day of St. James (July 25th) is also the Day of Galicia. For the other regional holiday, Galicia does something quite unique by dedicating a day to celebrate its language and literature.

The Galician Language

Galician is a Romance language spoken by around 2.4 million people, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community in northwestern Spain, where it has been an official language since 1978, along with Spanish. It is also spoken in neighbouring areas of Asturias and Castile and León. Galician emerged in the 12th century and is similar to Portuguese but uses Spanish spelling conventions.

Galician Literature Day was inaugurated by the Royal Galician Academy in 1963.

The date was chosen as May 17th 1963 was the centenary of the publication of 'Cantares gallegos', the first work written in the Galician language by Rosalía de Castro (1837–1885), who would go on to become one of the most important poets in the history of Galicia.

Since that first day in 1963, May 17th each year has been dedicated to a different writer in the Galician language. The writer is chosen by the Royal Galician Academy, with a key proviso being that the writer has been dead for a least ten years.

Over a thousand books are published in Galician each year and there is a Galician TV channel, a Galician radio station, and several online Galician language news portals.

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