June 9 – Dia de La Rioja in Spain

Posted on June 9, 2015

Today is the special day of the “autonomous community” of La Rioja, in northern Spain.
La Rioja is shown here in red.

Spain is organized quite differently than the United States is. Spain is divided into provinces – but there are also those autonomous communities (which are also either provinces or divided into provinces). Altogether, Spain AND its autonomous communities are divided into 50 provinces.

The autonomous communities were created in 1978; the “autonomous” part means that these regions are guaranteed self-rule. That means that Spain is much more decentralized than a nation like the United States. The autonomous communities still have to honor the limits of the Spanish constitution, but they are much more independent than, say, California.

However, since 1986, Spain has been a member of the European Union. The EU has both economic and political agreements.

What is La Rioja like?

Mountains and valleys. 



La Rioja is in the Iberian mountains, which separate Spain from France. Seven rivers pour out of the mountains into the Ebro River; because of this, La Rioja is sometimes called “zone of the seven valleys.” One of these rivers is Oja. Since the Spanish word for “river” is rio, I think you can see where the province got its name.

The province is especially known for its wines. There is even a “battle of wine”! In addition to art shows, music concerts, and sporting events, the people of La Rioja often spend today wine tasting and feasting.

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