Venezuela: Holidays                                            

Many Venezuela holidays are Catholic in origin. Below is a list of dates that are national, public holidays.


January 1                                     New Year’s Day

Celebrates the beginning of the new calendar year.


Feb/March (date varies)               Carnival

A festive Catholic celebration held before Lent. Lent is a solemn religious period that begins on Ash Wednesday (46 days before Easter) and ends approximately six weeks later (right before Easter Sunday). The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement (making repairs for doing something wrong) and self-denial.


March/April (date varies)               Maundy Thursday

A Catholic celebration held on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. Maundy means “washing of the feet.” The day commemorates the day that Jesus Christ washed the feet of the apostles (commonly considered the 12 primary students of Christ) and the Last Supper that he had with the apostles.


March/April (date varies)                Good Friday

A Catholic celebration held on the Friday before Easter Sunday. The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated. Traditionally, it is a day of fasting and penance.


March/April (date varies)                 Easter Sunday

A Catholic celebration commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Typically the day is festive and involves going to mass.


April 19                                            Independence Declaration Day

A declaration of a local junta (military or political group that takes power by force) in Caracas was declared on this day in 1810.


May 1                                                Labor Day

A day off for workers.


June 24                                              Saint John’s Day

A Catholic celebration of Saint John the Baptist. The date also marks the Battle of Carabobo in 1821—which was a victory for the Venezuelan independence fighters. The battle, led by Simón Bolívar, opened the doors to the creation of Republic of Gran Colombia. 


June/July (dates varies)                    Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul

A Catholic celebration of Saints Peter and Paul.


July 5                                                 Independence Day

The declaration of independence from Spain was signed on this day in 1811.

Independence Day Parade in 2011 Celebrating 200 Years of Independence


July 24                                               Simon Bolivar’s Birthday

Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), leader of the independence movement from Spain, was born on this day in 1783.  


August 14                                          Assumption Day

A Catholic holiday celebrating the ascension of the Virgin Mary (the mother of Jesus Christ) into heaven following her death.


October 12                                        Indigenous Resistance Day

A day to honor the heroes of the anti-Spanish resistance.


November 1                                       All Saints’ Day

A solemn Catholic holiday celebrating all the known saints who have risen to heaven. All Saints’ Day should not be confused with All Soul’s Day which is celebrated on November 2 and is a day to celebrate to all who have not yet reached heaven.


December 24                                    Christmas Eve

A Catholic holiday celebrating the night before the birth of Christ.

December 25                                    Christmas Day

A Catholic holiday celebrating the day of the birth of Christ.


December 31                                   New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, celebrates the last day of the calendar year. Festivities include counting down to midnight.