Monday, April 06, 2015

Customs and traditions from Spain

    Spain is a beautiful country with amazing panorama views at country side, good weather for holiday’s season at spring, summer and autumn, of course, unforgettable sunny beaches.

    Spanish people most of the time have a good mood, laughing at all, joking between them and always like to break the glass with you, have a huge hug when you arrive and leave with 2 kisses (one in each cheek), or putting their arms over your shoulder just to explain how to get there at site that you do not know how to get there, these are some typical Spaniards customs and way of communication, but you do not get angry with them because you feel that they broke your personal area of trust-confidence or invaded your personal space. This way of communicating may surprise you when you first arrive to Spain, but you will quickly adapt to this Spanish customs and traditions and soon you won’t even notice them.

    Spanish people like to have fun, typical Spanish phrases to go out partying are for example:  “ir de picoteo” or "ir de tapas" (meaning: pilgrimage through the bars, eating small amounts and outside mealtimes), "voy a ir de farra" (meaning: I'm going to go party), “¿Qué tienes de picar?” (meaning: What you have to snack?).

Other interesting points about Spaniards’ food customs

  • ·         The locals of Spain have lunch at 2 pm and dinner at around 9 to10 pm.
  • ·         Spanish food is not spicy and very seldom hot.
  • ·      Spain has the second highest number of bars per inhabitants, the only country that has more bars than Spain is Cyprus. Bars are an important part of life.
  • ·   Tortillas in Spain are not the same as tortillas elsewhere. You will not find corn or flour tortillas in Spanish dishes. In Spain, Tortilla Española refers to a very popular and delicious egg and potato dish. Spaniards use the word tortitas to refer to flour/corn tortillas.
  • ·     Sunflower seeds (it is called: pipas) are big deal in Spain. More importantly, Spaniards are really talented at opening and eating them at a shocking speed.
  • ·  Most households buy fresh bread every day. Traditionally, they are long baguettes called barras or pistolas. Bread is present (and required) at almost every meal.
  • ·         Though Spain is more famous for its red wine than white, the majority of its vineyards have white grapes. The fortified wine sherry comes from the city of Jerez in Andalusia. In Spanish, sherry is simply called 'vino de Jerez' (Jerez wine).
  • ·      The Spanish (in particular those from Cadiz) claim that they invented fried fish. In the 18th century, Britain had ties with Cadiz and therefore it is believed that the English took the idea of fish 'n' chips from Spain. However, other sources claim the Portuguese and Belgians invented it.
  • ·         Spain is the number one producer of olive oil in the world with 44% of the world's olive oil production. That is more than twice that of Italy and four times that of Greece.
  • ·      Spain is one of the world's biggest producers of saffron, an important ingredient in the most famous Spanish dish called paella.
  • ·       Sangria and Paella, most tourists who visit Spain want to eat paella ( is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots/seafood) and drink sangria (consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy)- what could be more Spanish? Most of bars and restaurants know how much tourists like and want to sample these symbols of Spanish kitchen life and you will enjoy it accordingly.
  • ·         Mahou-San Miguel is the leading brand of Spanish Beer.
  • ·       Food is important in Spain and often a topic of conversation. Additionally, they often go on walks after a meal to help them digest their meal.

Ties between England and Spain
  • ·        The Spaniard Catherine of Aragon married Henry VIII of England. She was the first of his six wives and the mother of Queen Mary I.
  • ·  Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to Britain in 1713, controlled the entrance to the Mediterranean.
  • ·      In 1588 the Spanish Armada, consisting of one hundred and fifty ships, sailed to England to invade, but it was defeated by the English navy and stormy weather.

  • ·    Football/Soccer is the country´s most important sport. Spain won its first World Cup football title in 2010, which made the country the 8th country to have ever won.

Parliamentary Democracy in Spain

    For 40 years, between 1936 and 1975, Franco ruled Spain as a dictator. After his death, the rightful King Juan Carlos I had a key role in returning the country to a democracy with a new constitution, since 1975 to now a day.

Festivals in Spain

    The Spanish eating, drinking and dancing culture step up a gear (if that's possible), when there's a festival on town. Every town or village has a local party or festival (called fiesta), at which point the locals don't just eat and drink because it's fun, they do so because it would be un-Spanish not to do.

Most important Spaniards’ Festivals

Spain is known for its hospitality and relaxed way of life, and this is what students and tourists love about Spain and the Spain culture. More than 50 million of tourists visit Spain every summer and autumn time, because of its good weather, sunny and subtropical temperature (33 – 40 ºC), is cheap country, beautiful and fun people, traditional country side of festival parties, nice places, cathedrals, attractions, traditional Spanish dresses, beaches, pubs, restaurants, discotheques, nice country side, ecology tours, city tours, resorts, big thematic parks.

Main Festival and places to visit

·         Historical Royal Palace
·         Sagrada Familia” the most famous Cathedral at Barcelona, Spain.
·         Historical Muslim Buildings (Alhambra Castle, Alcazar Royal palace, Hammam-Arabic Bath)
·         Bullfighting
·         Grec Festival
·         Wine harvest Festival in Spain
·         Salamanca history and legends
·         La Cueva de Salamanca (Salamanca cave) where supposedly Satan himself taught classes to 7 students for 7 years in the cave under the condition that afterward one of the students would belong to the devil as payment for the instruction. The chosen student was able to escape but not without losing his shadow –Marques would live shadow less for the rest of his days as a sign of his relationship with Satan. The legend spread and it even provided the source of inspiration for one of Miguel de Cervantes’ short plays.
·         One of the most popular traditions in Salamanca is known as “lunes de aguas”.
·         Mariquelos’ annual event had remained unobserved for several years when in 1985 the tradition of climbing up the outside of the tower was picked up again.
·         Tentenecio hill recalls an extraordinary anecdote from the city’s past. Saint John of San Facondo was taking a walk along the hill one day when he saw a loose bull that had escaped from a market charging at a woman and her son. According to legend, Saint John stepped in front of the wild bull, planted his hand between the animal’s horns and ordered him to “¡Tente, necio!” (from détente, necio, stop you fool), at which point the animal miraculously calmed down and left the three unharmed. The saint’s command has been the name of the street ever since, in memory of the miracle.
·         On February 5th Salamanca traditionally celebrates the festival of Saint Agatha (fiesta de Santa Águeda), when women symbolically take control and leave men in charge of the housework.
·         Castilian women have a history of being vigorously protective of their home and family, a great example of which we can see in the story of Maria la Brava.
·         Miguel de Unamuno, who served in several occasions as rector of the University of Salamanca. On October 12, 1936, in the midst of a civil war and during the “Fiesta de la Raza” celebration, this adoptive Salmantino, standing before shouts of “You will be victorious but you will not convince
  •          Rose of Saffron Festival
  •          Walking the “Camino de Santiago” (Saint James Route)
  •          La Tomatina” Valencia Festival (Tomatoes Festival)
  •          Los Toros de San Fermín Festival Pamplona
  •          San Isidro Festival Madrid (Chulapas y Chulapos typical dresses)
  •          The Cave of Altamira is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. It was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered.
  •          The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, Bilbao, Spain.

  •      The best sights, tours and activities at Balearic Island (Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera). You must enjoy of their beautiful beaches and parties. Ibiza Island is one of the most famous party and holiday Island in the world; plenty of Hollywood actors and actress go for holidays there and enjoy their vacations as well as famous politicians and Royal Family of Spain.
  •      Tenerife Carnival at Santa Cruz de Tenerife Island – Canary Island. It is the second world famous carnival in the world after Brazil’s world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

Madrid y Barcelona cities

  • The Madrid-Barcelona is one of the city pairs with most flights per week in the world!
  • The Madrid subway is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth largest system in the world. It has 141 miles of track and is still growing.
  • Real Madrid Football Club and Barcelona Football Club are the most famous football teams in the world and in Spain, as well as Atletico of Madrid Football Club. Please do not forget to see a football match in our beautiful stadiums next time you visit Spain for holiday.