I’m Spanish and I’ve been living in Dubai for the last 4 years, and only this last Christmas I went back home to celebrate this important time of the year for us with my family.
Time flies when you are living and working abroad.
We forget about our traditions and lifestyle of our home country.
I wanted to share some of our traditions that are quite similar to the Arabic:
- We normally have a family gathering on Sundays where we cook and spend time together. It’s tradition to eat Paella on that day, but it depends on the region you are from. For us, it’s very important to share food with our loved ones as it’s an important part of our culture.
For the most religious families it is a must to go to Sunday’s prayers before lunch time.
- We like to dine together, normally the mother decides on the meal times in the house and we all have to be punctual.
That means we spend a lot of time in the kitchen with our mum, learning how to cook and having fun and wonderful moments!
- A normal family, even a wealthy one will teach the kids to clear and clean all the plates and kitchen utensils as we believe every person should be able to be independent and know the basics of cooking, doing the laundry…etc.
If you fall in love with a Spanish man, you might be lucky! He’ll probably know how to cook and clean!
- We have a strong relationship with our grandparents, we call and visit them as much as we can and we celebrate together birthdays, Christmas, Easter and any special celebrations.
The Spanish have always something to celebrate!
- Our weekend starts on Thursday’s! We like to have a drink with our friends on that day, specially in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona where Thursday’s are the University nights! People goes out to have some beer and tapas.
- Our eating times are later than in the rest of Europe, we eat around 2 or 3pm and we have dinner around 9 or 10pm, we love having a “merienda” around 5pm, which is a small snack.
I remember eating amazing fresh bread toast with Nutella… and as well going to the bakery and buy fresh pastries!
- In our tradition we normally do “siesta” which means “nap time”, this is because originally all shops used to open in split shift closing between 1pm till 5pm, so all families could have lunch together and have a little rest.
This tradition however is not happening like before, specially in the big cities where shops are open 24 hours now!
I never liked “siesta” but most of my family and friends does!
- We always say hello to each other giving two kiss (one in each cheek).
This tradition can be a bit weird if you are come from another country.
Only in a professional level we will keep the distance until the older person will decide to have a closer contact.
- Birthday’s are a very important celebration of the year, and we celebrate it for few days, first with our families and then with our friends!
I personally love my birthday, and I like to celebrate it with all the people that I love. My father always calls me more than 5 times to wish me Happy Birthday! Of course I give all the leadership to my Mum as she was the one that made it happen!
- In general we don’t have sense of being strictly punctual.
In Spain it’s accepted that people arrives a bit later to social parties or appointments.
I personally don’t do that as I like to be on time, but if you go to Spain keep it in mind!
This are only the basic traditions tips, but we have much more traditions in each celebration, I’ll talk about it later.
I hope you like my post and that will be helpful for you to understand better Spanish culture!