Everyone who has ever visited Spain would agree that it’s a country of contrasts. Not one of its regions, not a single province is alike. Moreover, even the inhabitants of these provinces – the native Spaniards, have their customs and traditions.
The Spaniards are temperamental, friendly, and open. For some, their temperament and manner of communication may seem unusual. Some tourists may be shocked, for example, if the Spaniard easily starts talking to him/her in the street. A manifestation of a national character is felt in traditions and customs. The famous San Fermin festival in Pamplona is just one of the numerous traditions. Learn more about the most popular celebrations and customs that make Spain the desired tourist destination.
Unique Cultural Traditions in Spain
If to briefly characterize the features and traditions of this country, you’ll get a combination of incongruous. Bright, sensual and passionate dances. Emotionality in communication. All this is combined with the unhurried and measured way of life. The traditions listed below prove this.
La Tomatina Festival
Want to get ripe tomatoes on your forehead? Dive into a puddle with tomato juice or swim in the blood-red river? So, do not miss the Tomatina festival, which takes place in Bunyola every last Wednesday of August! When planning to participate in Tomatina, you must observe the following rules:
- Do not bring bottles or any items that could lead to an accident.
- You can’t tear clothes on the participants of the Tomatina holiday.
- Before tossing a tomato, it should be crushed.
- Everyone must give way to trucks bringing tomatoes for Tomatina.
- After the second signal, immediately stop the tomato fight.
A Week-Long Festival in Valencia City
Nowhere else you’ll see such a grandiose party lasting for the entire week. Every day bright shows and fireworks take place here. The main peculiarity is a large number of big statues walking the street. They are thematic and refer to political and other important events that took place during the year. Last night is especially great. There is a big light show that won’t leave you indifferent. This festival is not less spectacular than the famous Semana festival and Basque festival.
Flamenco and other sensual dances
Great guitar music, passionate and sensual dances won the hearts of many people from all over the world. Flamenco, Sevillanas are common only in Andalusia – the characteristic features of Spanish culture. They are loved and popular outside the country. Also, there are many other popular dances. Among them is Sardana – Catalan round dance. It’s impossible not to mention Fandango – Andalusian dance, performed with endless trampling and tapping of castanets.
The Ritual of the Paseo
El Paseo is an ancient tradition in Spain. It’s an evening walk, the purpose of which is to visit friends. The result of the paseo is Osio – an idle conversation necessarily in the street after a walk. These traditions span more than one hundred years. They are carefully stored and observed by all generations.
In general, the Spaniards spend most of their free time on the street. Spaniards love to walk. But a walk for them is a special ritual. They are thoroughly prepared even to simply go out to meet friends or for small purchases at a store around the corner. The Spaniards spend a significant part of their income on improving their appearance. They like it when others pay attention to them.
Visiting a Bar
Another significant ritual is a visit to a bar. For the Spaniards, the bar is a temple of communication. In the lifestyle of any Spaniard, work time is distributed, time for food and sleep, and always! – time for bars. They meet with friends for a game of cards or dominoes. These meetings are always accompanied by typical Spanish tapas appetizers and football matches. A fun and friendly conversation with a glass of wine or beer are one of the essentials. If the Spaniard did not visit the bar, his obligations for a day haven’t been fulfilled. Thus, bars become the epicenters of public life.
Of course, the «calling card» of the country, its symbol and soul is bullfighting. A lot of controversies arose because of this action: some consider the event ”‘running the bulls” cruel. However, the Spaniards themselves highly value this ancient tradition. In the modern form, the bullfighting was carried out in 1775 in the town of Ronda, near Malaga, where an arena was built by the Equestrian Noble Society. Since then, Ronda became the “Bullfighting Academy”. Subsequently, arenas for bulls appeared in Madrid, Seville (famous for Feria de Abril festival), Malaga, Cordoba.
Spain occupies a leading position among the most visited countries in the world. This country attracts tourists from all over the world. They come not only to visit hot Andalusia but to learn about the enchanting original character of Spaniards.
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