Customs and Festivals

Customs and Festivals

Major Spanish Festivals

  • La Tomatina (The Tomato Fight): Held annually in Buñol, participants throw tomatoes at each other in this unique event.
  • Fiesta de San Fermín (Running of the Bulls): Known internationally, this festival in Pamplona involves bull running and bullfighting.
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week): A solemn week leading up to Easter, characterised by street processions and traditional religious ceremonies.
  • Carnaval: Similar to Mardi Gras, this colorful festival often involves costumes, parades and lively celebrations.

Common Customs

  • Siesta: A traditional afternoon rest or nap, particularly during the hot summer months.
  • Dos besos (two kisses): A common greeting among friends and family, typically one kiss on each cheek.
  • Celebratory meals: In events like Christmas, it is customary to have a large family gathering with extensive meals.
  • ¡Viva San Fermín! (Long live San Fermín!): A common chant during the San Fermín festival.
  • Traca final (final blast): Refers to the fireworks that symbolise the end of many Spanish festivals.
  • Carrozas (floats): Decorated platforms that play a central role in many parades, especially during Carnaval.

Speaking About Spanish Customs

  • Me encanta la idea de la siesta (I love the idea of the siesta): Expressing opinions about Spanish customs.
  • ¿Has participado en La Tomatina alguna vez? (Have you ever participated in La Tomatina?): Asking about experiences with specific festivals.
  • La procesión de Semana Santa era muy solemne (The Holy Week procession was very solemn): Describing events in the past.

Culture Comparison

  • En el Reino Unido no tenemos una celebración similar a la Tomatina (In the UK, we don’t have a celebration similar to La Tomatina): Drawing comparisons between British and Spanish cultures.
  • Me parece que la tradición de la siesta es muy útil durante el verano (I find the siesta tradition very handy during the summer): Discussing the practicalities of Spanish traditions.
  • Los fuegos artificiales al final de la fiesta son algo que también vemos en algunas festividades del Reino Unido (The fireworks at the end of the festival are something we also see in some UK festivities): Drawing similarities between Spanish and UK festivals.