March 24, 2019

Fun Facts about Spain

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Spain is one of the larger countries in Europe that has many traditions and pastimes, making it a country filled with celebration and culture.

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Keep reading to learn more about life in Spain.

Basic Facts About Spain

What is the population of Spain?
Spain has 49.3 million people in it. This makes it the 28th largest country in the world.

What is the capital of Spain?
The capital of Spain is Madrid. The capital city has a population of 3.3 million people.

Is Spain big?
Spain is the fourth largest country in Spain, with France, Ukraine, and Russia beating Spain in size and population.

What are the colors of the Spanish flag?
The Spanish flag has two red stripes and one yellow stripe. The yellow stripe is much larger than the two red stripes. There is also an image of Spain's coat of arms on the flag.

Culture in Spain

What is Spain's main religion?
70% of Spaniards are Roman Catholic; however, more than half of those consider themselves Catholic, and more than half of them aren't currently practicing their religion. As many as 20% of the Spaniards don't associate with any religion or consider themselves atheists.

How many languages are spoken in Spain?
The official language of Spain is Spanish, with as much as 99% of Spaniards speaking their native language. There are various dialects and regional variations of the Spanish language throughout the country.

Is English widely spoken in Spain?
As much as 27% of Spain's population speaks English. It is the second most common language in Spain, second only to Spanish.

Life in Spain

What is Spain's government like?
Spain is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. The leader, or "head of state," is the king. Just like the US and many other countries, though, Spain has an executive, legislative, and judiciary branch.

What is the currency of Spain?
Spain uses the most common currency of Europe, the euro. Today, one euro equals $1.15 in US dollars.

What is Spain's national animal?
The bull is the national animal of Spain, which coincides with one of the most popular activities in Spain, bullfighting.

What does Spain export?
Some of the largest exports from Spain include pharmaceuticals, automobiles, olives, and citrus fruits. Spain also exports a large amount of wine.

What is Spain's national sport?
We know it as soccer, but the most popular sport in Spain goes by the name "football." Spain won the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.

What's the next most famous sport in Spain?
Another popular sport in Spain is tennis. Spain has won the Davis Cup five times, with the most recent win in 2011.

What is Spain famous for?
While it may not be the most popular sport, bullfighting is a popular pastime in Spain. Bullfighting started as a religious ceremony, but has evolved into a popular pastime today.

What food is Spain famous for?
Spain is known for olives, garlic and onions, which you'll find in a large number of dishes. You'll also find potatoes, meat, and seafood as the main ingredient in many of their dishes. Some of the most traditional dishes include paella, tapas (small plates), and arroz Cubano.

Like Italians, the Spaniards have their largest meal at lunchtime. They then often take the traditional "siesta," or nap/break from work, after their large lunch.

What is the traditional clothing in Spain?
The Spanish dress up rather than down most of the time. For example, you'll be hard-pressed to find Spaniards in shorts. Anyone wearing shorts in Spain is typically a tourist. Instead, women wear long dresses and men wear trousers, each of which are often in bright, flamboyant colors.

At festivals and gatherings, the clothing is even fancier, with women wearing large ruffled dresses and men wearing nice jackets and suede/leather shoes.

What are some of the most common traditions in Spain?
The Spanish love to celebrate, and it's evident in their numerous annual festivals. One of the largest festivals is Las Fallas, which was started to honor St. Joseph. Today, it's a weeklong festival filled with music, parades, fireworks, and dancing through the streets.

Another popular festival is the Carnival, which occurs right before Lent and is a celebration of the Easter season to come. Parade-goers wear bright, traditional costumes. Each region in Spain has their own carnival.

What is the education like in Spain?
School is required by law in Spain from ages 6 - 16. Spanish children attend primary school for six years, followed by secondary education for another four years.

What language is taught in Spanish schools?
Most schools use Spanish as the primary language. English, French, and sometimes German is taught as a second language.

Holidays in Spain

How do they celebrate Christmas in Spain?
People in Spain celebrate Christmas from early December all the way through January 6. They celebrate with nativity scenes and Christmas trees, and you'll often find markets throughout the country offering traditional fruits, gifts, and flowers for the Christmas season.

The Spaniards eat their Christmas meal on Christmas Eve. It is usually their largest meal of the year. After eating, they sing carols until the early morning hours. Christmas day is then spent in church, followed by more feasts.

What is the most important holiday in Spain?
While Christmas Day is important in Spain, January 6th (Three Kings Day) holds the most importance. This is the day that the three wise men saw Baby Jesus. Children leave their shoes outside of their bedrooms on the night before Three Kings Day in the hopes that the three wise men will bring them gifts.

Do the Spanish celebrate Santa Claus?
The children of Spain do know Santa Claus, but he is not the bearer of the gifts. In fact, as we spoke about above, gifts are traditionally received on Three Kings Day rather than on Christmas. The Spaniards celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas rather than exchanging gifts.

What is the Running of the Bulls Festival?
The Running of the Bulls Festival, also known as the San Fermin Festival, lasts for nine days. The festival brings more than one million visitors and thousands of runners. Spaniards over the age of 18, both men and women, can run with the bulls on the morning of each of the first eight days, in the hopes of outrunning them. The festival ends with bullfights in the arena each evening.

The fiestas of San Fermin runs from the 6th to 14th of July every year.

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