Fiesta, Siesta, Paella: The Spanish Experience

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If I tell you “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité“ I bet you think of France. But what if I tell you “Fiesta, Siesta, Paella?”

The answer to this one is Spain.

While France, land of revolution and human rights, is so proud of its humanitarian heritage, its neighbor country, Spain, is even prouder of its cool lifestyle.

If you plan to go to Spain, you not only have to visit monuments, castles and museums, you also have to experience “La Vida Local,” the Spanish life! It’s easy, just go to as many “Fiestas” as possible and make sure you take a little “Siesta” after eating your mid-day “Paella.“

Major “Fiestas” in Spain.

  • “Semana Santa,” or Holy Week, is the week right before easter, celebrated by religious Catholics. They perform many processions in the streets of major cities and even small villages. The most famous one is in Sevilla.
  • The festival of San Fermín, “Sanfermines”, is a full week of celebrations in the streets of Pamplona, a city in the north-east of the country. This one is in July and less religious; it involves many traditional and folkloric events, the most famous one being the “Encierro” or running of bulls in the streets.
  • For the less traditional people, Spain is also a big scene for music Festivals of all types. Each year, the city of Barcelona becomes the place to be for electro and experimental music lovers with its internationally renowned music festival: The Sónar.

The Spanish “Siesta.”

The siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Today, the habit is more likely among the elderly, but every Spanish people will confess enjoying a nice siesta now and then, particularly during summer holidays in order to avoid the high temperatures of the day and extend social life till the cooler late evenings and nights. If you visit small towns, don’t be surprised to find shops closed between 2pm and 4pm, traditional nap time in Spain.

The Spanish Paella.

Paella is considered, by foreigners, as a national meal. It is in fact a traditional dish from the city of Valencia. But you find it in every restaurants across the country. From the “Paella Valenciana,” the original recipe, to the “Paella de Mariscos” Seafood Paella, its variants are infinite and you’ll find it for all taste, Vegetarian/Vegan included.

So what are you waiting for? Get your ticket to Spain now! And if you cannot go, maybe you can cook a delicious Paella, do a little Siesta right after, and dream that you are there. Hasta la vista.

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