Every nationality has its own habits and traditions, and Spanish people are well-known for different aspects that predominate their day-to-day lives. If you want to immerse into the full Spanish culture, you should become aware of several things that you will notice every Spanish person does.
1. Share food
It is true that in some countries it is seen as rude to share food, as food gets touched by everyone’s fork and it can be considered as ‘unhygienic’. However, sharing is a very important part of eating out in Spain. We order different ‘tapas’ dishes, and place them in the middle of the table to share, and everyone eats whatever they want. There is no need to place the food on your own plate, unless you need to cut it- Spanish people don’t accumulate their food on their plate, they just ‘go with the flow’.
3. Late eating
Both for lunch and dinner. Spanish people tend to have lunch around 2:30pm, and dinner around 10pm- and others even later! This can be quite challenging as a non-Spanish, but you just need to get used to it. What we do is have small snacks between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner, and we also tend to meet our friends for a beer and some small tapas before the actual meals.
4. Siesta time
After lunch, the majority of Spanish people take time to rest a bit- note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has a nap, but just take some time off work. This can also be seen in a lot of shops, especially non-chain ones, which close from 2-5pm. Particularly in the Summer, it is too hot to be working at this time, and people get sleepy, so it’s the perfect time to go home for a couple of hours, see your family, and get some energy.
Don’t plan to go clothes shopping or to the supermarket on a Sunday, as you will find yourself full of close stores. Nothing opens on a Sunday, unless you are in a big city, where big stores will be open. People spend Sundays with their families, going for lunch, having paella, and enjoying each other’s company.