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Experience Great Culture in Spain

There is so much culture to discover in Spain. With such a rich history, you are bound to leave from your vacation feeling well-rounded and educated. Enjoy a long, leisurely dinner on a terrace overlooking a bustling street, or enjoy the art of bullfighting and the hypnotic allure of the Flamenco. Whichever you choose, you are sure to enjoy a rich cultural experience as you visit Spain. If you are a first-time visitor, the country can seem quite overwhelming, so make sure to plan ahead and break your trip down into a manageable task before venturing out into the unknown. This magnificently diverse culture has long-standing ties to its past in cities like Pamplona, however, they are certainly keeping an eye towards the future with cities like Barcelona and Madrid.

Spain has such a rich history and so much has happened here. One might say it’s a country teeming with cultural significance. With a heritage full of stories and lore, Spain will never fail to impress you, whether it’s your first visit or your tenth. If you want to get the most out of your trip, it’s important to know a little bit about it’s history and culture.  So, do your homework beforehand and you’ll be enjoying cobblestone streets in no time.

Spain’s Culture-Fiestas

Most of us know that a fiesta is the spanish word for a party or a celebration, so it’s no surprise that Spain throws great fiestas! Throughout history and even in present day, fiestas are celebrated at specific times of the year, similar to New Year’s celebrations here in the U.S. People take fiestas very seriously and plan for many months to pull off the perfect celebration. Often these fiestas last long into the night and each one has its own unique traits and cultural events.

One of Spain’s most popular fiestas is the Verbena de la Paloma, which occurs during August 6 through the 15 right in the city of Madrid. During this fiesta, Spain’s true colors are shown, literally, and popular traditions are displayed using colorful costumes and regional dances.

If you are feeling bad because you won’t be visiting during one of the great fiestas, don’t worry, because in Spain almost every night is a cause for celebration. People here don’t need a special occasion to party and this is evident throughout the week. You’ll find people celebrating long into the night.

Spain’s Culinary Culture

You’ll certainly experience diversity as you partake of food here in Spain. You’ll find a mixture of fresh vegetables and produce, meats, chicken and fish, all mixed with a variety of spices. Spanish cuisine is not typically spicy, but use spices to offer flavorful dishes.

Famous dishes that you’ll find in Spain include paella which is a one-pan rice dish featuring a variety of ingredients, mariscos which is shellfish, a garbanzo bean stew called potajes, and pimientos rellenos which are peppers stuffed with meat or seafood. Popular desserts include churros and hot chocolate.

Wine is also a hot commodity in Spain and they are known for the many aromatic wines found around the vast countryside. Here, the drinking age is 18, so this may be unusual for the first time visitor to witness.

Dinner in Spain may also take some getting used to, especially if you are visiting for the first time. Part of the culture is that people don’t eat dinner until nine or ten in the evening. So, don’t expect to show up at the restaurant at 7:00 and expect to be fed. Most diners won’t even show up until about 8:30.

The Musical Culture in Spain- The Flamenco

To properly perform the Flamenco, all one needs is a guitarist and a colorfully dressed dancer. The Flamenco is the Spanish art of song and dance, and is made up of three elements- the song, the guitar, and the dance. This famous art form started back in 1774 when the Flamenco was performed using only vocals and hand clapping. It really wasn’t until much later that the Flamenco introduced the guitar and became an internationally known dance form.

Spain’s Bullfighting Culture

Most likely when you think of Spain, the first thing to pop into your mind is…Bullfighting. This is a long held tradition in Spain and is one of the country’s best known customs. Bullfighting is truly a sport to be mastered and starts off with the Matador squaring off with the bull. During the show-down the Matador uses his skilled mastery over the beast to escape a gruesome demise time after time. In the end, a sword is usually used to kill the bull, making the Matador the champion. It is truly something that must be seen to be truly appreciated.

Not just any type of bull can be used in the sport, only a specific specie can be used which is the Toro Bravo. This is the type of bull that was used for sacrifices in the Bible. Not everyone enjoys the bullfight in Spain, and many actually don’t condone its practices. There are many mixed feelings towards the traditional sport, with many people arguing that this is a cherished tradition that should continue, and many others saying that they are concerned more about the suffering of the animals and they believe it should be abolished.

Learn More

Before you venture out on your trip to Spain, use your resources to truly understand certain customs and traditions that the certain cities you will be visiting participate in. A great way to find this information out is to browse the internet. Each region boasts its own customs and traditions, so it’s important to research the area you are planning to visit. The greatest way to enjoy Spain is to respect the cultual ways by doing your part beforehand.