5 Must-Know Cultural Traditions In Spain

Spain has one of the most beautiful and diverse culture in the world. Its citizens are so proud of its culture and traditions that they do not just preserve it and pass it down from generation to generation, they also celebrate it.

The cultural traditions of Spain should be respected and celebrated. The growth of the Spanish language has also been traced to Spanish culture and traditions. Here are five cultural traditions that are practiced by citizens of Spain.

1. Spanish Festivals

You cannot say you know the Spanish cultural traditions without learning about the most important festivals in Spain. They are listed below.

  • Semana Santa: Semana Santa also known as Holy Week is an integral part of the Spanish culture and is celebrated all over Spain. Catholicism is the largest religion in Spain and paying homage to the Passion of Christ is important to the citizens of Spain. Semana Santa is practiced in all the cities and towns in Spain. Penance processions by the Catholic Brotherhood during the Easter Week, then it is rounded off by the Passion of Jesus Christ. This celebration is loudest in Seville, Andalusia, Spain.
  • Las Fallas, Valencia: This celebration has been traced back to the Middle ages and holds on the 15-19th of March. It celebrates the end of winter and St Joseph’s Day (he’s the patron Saint of Carpenters) and ninots (decorated chunks of wood) is burned. It is four days of non-stop joy, fireworks, bands and fun. It is a celebration we all need to experience.
  • Carnival: Over 50 countries in the world celebrate carnival, it holds before the Lent season. It is usually linked to Rio de Janeiro and its largest celebration is in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is celebrated for two weeks and there is music, dancing, crowning of the carnival queen and burial of sardine (which is done on Ash Wednesday).

2. Spanish Foods And Drinks

There are certain delicacies Spanish people enjoy and some are more popular than the others. From the meal time to its popular meals. Here is everything to know about Spanish foods and drinks.

  • Meal Time: The first thing to know about Spanish meals is that they have late lunch and dinner. Lunch is eaten in Spain around 2pm to 3pm and dinner is eaten 10pm.
  • Coffee: The people of Spain do not joke with their coffee as they are known to consume five or more cups of coffee all day long. The most popular coffee in Spain is Cafe con leche, it is a combination of equal amounts of strong black coffee and milk.
  • Tortilla Española: Totilla española is also called Spanish omelette. It is enjoyed by kids and adults alike, and is filled with vitamins. It can be eaten as a main meal or sandwich, and its main ingredients are potatoes, egg, onions and oil (usually olive oil).
  • Gazpacho: This is one of the most famous meals in Spain. It is made with tomatoes, olive oil, bread, garlic, cucumbers and pepper. It is served cold and is  usually eaten in summer when the weather is hot.
  • Paella: This is a popular rice dish in Spain. It is prepared with rice (of course), chicken, saffron, runner beans and butter beans. It is a yummy meal that citizens of Spain do not joke with.
  • Beer And Wine: In most parts of Spain, draught beer is usually served in bars. People simply request for a small glass of beer (una caña), or a larger size (una doble). Even though Spain is well known for their wine, most people usually ask for white wine (vino blanco) or red wine (vino tinto).

3. Spanish Traditional Clothing

Spain has one of the most colourful traditional clothing in the world. It beautiful designs shines through during festivals and celebrations. Here are some of Spain’s cultural clothing.

  • El Traje Corto: This is Spain’s traditional short suit. It is a combination of short jackets, white shirt and high waisted trousers paired with a sombrero (hat). It’s is a clothing mostly worn by men.
  • La Mantilla: This is a Spanish veil made with long lace or silk material which is worn by women to cover their heads and shoulders. It was once compulsory for women to wear it before they could enter the church in Spain.
  • La Peineta: La peineta is a shell comb the Spanish women wear. It helps to hold down the mantilla in the hair so it won’t remove.

4. Spanish Naming And Greeting Tradition

  • Naming Tradition: Most people in Spain have 4 names. A first name, a middle name and two surnames (one from the father and the other from the mother). However, most people are addressed by their first name and surname. A lot of people have nicknames given to them by their friends or family members that stick. Women in Spain do not change their names to that of their husband’s when they get married, they are allowed to keep their own surnames.
  • Greeting Tradition: Greetings in Spain is mostly informal, warm and friendly. People greet in shops, on the street, at home and everywhere you go. Women are usually greeted with a kiss on both cheeks while men shake hands or hug.

5. Religion In Spain

Religion is very important to the Spanish people. The largest religious practice in Spain is Catholicism, it is so widespread that there is a Catholic church or cathedral in almost all the cities in Spain. Spain also has a healthy dose of Muslims. The influx of Africans and Middle Eastern refugees have increased the number and spread of Islam in the country. There are also many atheists and few Jewish people in Spain.

Spain practices inclusiveness and freedom in religious options. There is no segregation or hate among its worshippers. Christians, Muslims, Atheists and Jews can worship and observe the practices of their religion freely.

The cultural traditions of Spain are rich and beautiful. This is what has made Spain so unique and diverse. It is indeed an amazing country.

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