Fascinating traditions: Spain

Spain is one of those European countries, rich in history and even richer in culture and traditions.

Here are some of our favourite fascinating traditions in Spain:

1.Flamenco

Ever heard of the ‘Flamenco’? And no, it’s not a bird.

Referred to as Spanish art, the Flamenco originated in the southern regions of Spain and is made up of three parts: guitar playing (“guitarra”), song (“cante”), and dance (“baile”). Even though it originated in the southern regions of Spain, some believe it has influences from Latin America, Cuba, and Jewish traditions.

Traditional Flamenco dancers rarely received any formal training as it’s more a case of it being passed down from friends, relatives, and those in the community.

What does it entail? The Flamenco can be quite dramatic, seeing as dancers try to express their deepest emotions by using body movements and facial expressions. They often clap their hands or kick their feet and many also use ‘castanets’ to add to the performance.

When you travel to Spain, the Flamenco is something you’re bound to come across.

flamenco_granada_los_tarantos_ESPECTACULO_2-1

2.Running of the bulls

Bullfights happen throughout Spain. The fiestas of San Fermin are celebrated in Irunea/Pamplona, a small city in Spain’s northern region of Navarra.  These fiestas take place during summer from 6-14 July and have become internationally known because of the running of the bulls.

Even though it’s synonymous with parties drinking, dancing and singing in the streets, the annual running of the bulls through the city is actually part of a religious festival to honour St. Fermin, the patron saint of the city.

pamplona-spain-running-bulls

3.Piñatas

You may have seen them in the shape of ponies, flowers, or even unicorns, and while the history of the piñata has a religious and spiritual significance, today piñatas are associated with celebrations in Spain.

 The traditional piñata is usually in the shape of a six-point star and the first piñatas in Spain were made completely of clay – decorations and bright colours were only added later on.

PIÑATA

4.Quinceañera

15 is an important age for girls in Spain. When a girl reaches the age of 15, it signifies her ‘coming of age’, so to speak. This is when she passes from ‘girlhood’ to ‘womanhood’ and for Spanish families, this is a cause for big celebrations.

The birthday girl usually struts a formal dress and receives real princess-like gifts such as tiaras, bracelets and earrings from family members.

Quinceañera includes all things festive such as a religious service, followed by a dedication mass whereafter there’s sure to be music, and dance, and lots of food!

quinceañera

Why not join us on one of our next trips to Spain where you’ll get to visit Barcelona, Madrid, Salamanca, Seville, Mijas and more!