By Angela Padron
There are 20 countries around the world where Spanish is the official language. They are located in three main areas – Europe (Spain), Mexico and Central America, and South America. Although cultures in these countries share many holidays and customs, each country’s population has its own distinct characteristics to differentiate its culture from the rest.
The float with the image of the Macarena Virgin during the Good Friday Procession in Barcelona, Spain.
The various Hispanic cultures around the world all derived from Spain, which is famous for several cultural events. For example, because many Spanish people are generally very religious, there are many holidays celebrated that revolve around religious observations, such as Holy Week before Easter where processions of people walk through several cities. During the month of July, the running of the bulls takes place in Pamplona during the San Fermin festival. Bulls are released into the streets while people sprint trying to avoid being run over or mauled by a bull. In the town of Buñol each August, people participate in La Tomatina, also known as the “world’s biggest food fight,” by throwing tomatoes at each other, simply for entertainment. It’s a messy but fun time!
Famous San Miguel Market (Mercado San Miguel) on city centre of Madrid Spain.
Taking siestas is part of the Spanish culture as well. It’s a time when people leave work or school to go home to have lunch and relax and socialize with family and friends. In busy cities, siestas are not always used as more and more people continue to work a full day. Most people in Spain eat dinner later in the day, sometimes at 9 or 10 o’clock. Eating tapas is very popular as well; tapas are small portions of appetizer-like foods that people eat in order to try different foods at the same time. As for music, flamenco is a popular dance that originates from Spain. Flamenco involves soft guitar playing and staccato notes while dancers can use castanets, or small clam-like percussion instruments that are pressed together with the fingers to create a clicking sound.
Traditional Flamenco Dresses At A House In Malaga, Andalusia, Spain
As you can see, the Spanish culture is rich with tradition and passion. It is one of the most recognized cultures in Europe that draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to the country each year.