Society & everyday life in Spain
Religious freedom prevails in Spain. However, 90% of the population are baptized Roman Catholics. The church is particularly important in rural areas. In the cities, faith has taken a back seat, and faith is only lived out at major celebrations such as Easter, Christmas or at weddings. On the other hand, the cult of saints and Mary, which borders on superstition, is very widespread.
The country is considered a parliamentary hereditary monarchy, with the head of state being King Felipe VI. However, he only has representative functions, approves laws and is responsible for appointing and dismissing the head of government. State power officially comes from the Spanish people, which is represented by the Prime Minister, currently Mariano Rajoy. He is appointed by the king and has to be approved by parliament.
National language and communication
The official language in all of Spain is Spanish (Castilian). All Spaniards must master it. However, some regions still have a second official language. In Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, Catalan is also spoken, in Valencia Valencian, in the Basque Country and Navarra Basque and in Galicia Galician.
The greeting is very warm in Spain. Men shake hands with each other, otherwise it is common to kiss each other on the left and right cheek. The kiss is only hinted at, never properly executed. When you meet friends or family members, the men hug each other and the women kiss each other on the cheek and hug.
Public transport is very regular in Spain, one of countries starting with letter S listed on Countryaah.com. Buses and trains run every hour, especially between major cities. Buses also run between the smaller towns and cities, but not as often. The rides are very inexpensive. However, the Spaniards prefer the bus because you can reserve a seat there. You can get to the islands by car ferries, which you can also use as a pedestrian. However, these are very expensive.
Culture & History of Spain
In the course of its history, Spain experienced splendid times and crises, won victories and suffered defeats. Before Spain colonized other countries itself, various other cultures ruled the country including the Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Romans, Goths and Moors.
Evidence of a population that was already around 3000 BC in the early Stone Age was discovered. Lived in Spain. These finds have a lot in common with prehistoric cultures in Africa. The Iberian population, who settled the island after the prehistoric inhabitants, came around 1000 BC. From northern Africa. The Iberians became the most important ethnological group, hence the name “Iberian Peninsula”. The Celts were the next people to live around 1200 BC. Came to the peninsula. In the 11th century BC The seafaring people of the Phoenicians were the first to reach the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean area.
The unique historical and cultural background that emerged from the legacy of these peoples makes Spain an extremely interesting travel destination.
Primavera Sound Festival: (May – June) Would you like to start the spring with a lavish music festival in Barcelona? Then the Primavera Sound Festival is the right one: A wide range of rock, pop, electronic and dance music is played for all generations. Over 190,000 visitors come to the festival every year.
Sónar Festival: (June) Every summer, the three-day music festival makes Barcelona the center of electronic music and is considered one of the main attractions of festival tourism. The program is divided into Sónar de Noche and Sónar de Día and a magnet for over 100,000 visitors.
Festa Major de Gracia: (August) Every year this festival turns the bohemian Gracia district into a week-long street festival. If you are in Barcelona in August, this spectacle should not be missed! The festival mainly consists of a competition among the neighborhoods to see who will decorate the street most beautifully.
International Art Fair: (February) ARCOmadrid is the second largest contemporary art fair in Spain. Every year those interested in art can marvel at modern art by national and international artists on a weekend of 4,000 square meters.
Festimad: (May) In the last week of May, the alternative rock festival Festimad has been taking place since 1995, which also includes several parallel festivals. Bands like Radiohead, Amaral, Dover, Rage Against the Machine, Beck, Cypress Hill and Molotov have performed here.
Virgen de la Paloma Festival: (August) If you want to experience a traditional festival in Madrid, you should not miss this ceremony: Madrid celebrates for one week in honor of the Madonna. The most liturgical part of the festival is the procession during which the painting of the Madonna is carried through the crowd. The residents will wear traditional robes and dance traditional dances for the occasion.
La Noche de San Juan: (June) Where better to welcome the summer than on a dreamy sandy beach with campfires, food, drinks and friends ?! Similar to the midsummer festivals in Northern Europe, the beginning of summer is spectacularly and traditionally welcomed in Malaga. Concerts, music and various entertainment round off the event successfully.
Día de Pescaíto: (June) Torremolinos celebrates the traditional fish festival every year. The typical Andalusian specialty will be distributed free of charge on this day in the fishing district of La Carihuela. You can enjoy the fried anchovies with live music.
Bienale de Arte Flamenco: (September) Every two years, the culture of flamenco is celebrated in Málaga and the surrounding area for a month. The best flamenco dancers show their skills in rousing shows. In addition to the flamenco performances, there are also art exhibitions and performances by cultural associations.
On January 1 as well as in many other countries New Year (Año Nuevo) celebrated.
On January 6 are according to the widely Christian faith the Three Kings (Epiphany).
The March 19 is St. Joseph (San José) , Saint Joseph, the groom dedicated to the Mother of God.
On May 1 will work (Primero de Mayo) Day celebrated.
The July 25 marked St. James the Greater, patron saint of Spain. He is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
The August 15 is Assumption of Mary (Fiesta de la Asunción) .
On October 12th, the Spaniards celebrate National Day (Día de la Hispanidad / El Pilar) , on the occasion of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
On December 6th, the day of the Constitution (Día de la Constitución) is celebrated on the occasion of the adoption of the Constitution in 1978.
The December 8th marks the Immaculate Conception (Immaculate Conception) .
Spanish cuisine is very varied and shaped by different influences. Fish dishes in all variations belong on the table near the coast. Mullets, merlan, fresh anchovies, squid and lobsters are very popular. A big advantage is that the fish is always fresh. A typical dish for Andalusia is the well-known gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup. A typical Barcelona meal consists of a piece of meat or fish. Of course, olive oil and garlic, which are very popular in Spain as a spice, should not be missing. You should also definitely plan a visit to one of the famous Spanish tapas bars.
Interesting facts about Spain
A common cliché is still that the Spanish take a long siesta every day. It used to be that many Spaniards worked outside in the heat and it was unbearable at noon, so they went home and slept. For this they worked longer in the evening. Nowadays most Spaniards work indoors and most buildings have air conditioning so that siesta is no longer needed. In the tourist strongholds in particular, many shops are now open again around lunchtime. In the more rural regions, however, the siesta is still very popular.
Tips + tricks
In the Spanish coastal and beach areas, it gets extremely hot in summer. So don’t forget your sunscreen!