The Spanish traditions: Why do the Spanish eat so late at night?

Spanish families love to eat late but it can be quite interesting as to why – what are the true Spanish traditions?

Well, families in Spain, in general, tend to have dinner together. Shops are open late and despite the country not having many 24-hour shops, the large proportion of their supermarkets are open after work. The mentality in Spain, which is very widespread, is the ‘tomorrow’ feeling. There is no sense of time, it doesn’t matter to most and this is one of their strongest and profound Spanish traditions.

When people come back from school, university, work or other activities, they don’t care about the ticking clock – if they’re hungry they eat together and in a harmonious fashion too. However, when people come home late from work or from school or wherever it may be, this is when the delays are caused. Families will wait for their siblings to arrive home before dining, a very caring and tentative way of being.

For people who have meetings during the day or business lunches, then eating late at night really suits. Some may finish earlier than others, but as a whole, Spain’s workers tend to finish later than other countries and this is just one unique element to the Spanish traditions.

The fact that people finish work late and shops are open late mean that people don’t mind finishing work and going to buy their shopping at any time. There is no hurry-factor that exists in Spain, everyone is happy and in their own little (happy) world (this applies to a large majority of Spanish citizens).

Even for expats who have moved to Spain find themselves adopting this lifestyle. To fit in, a lot of people tend to chill out in Spain. The price of drinks is extortionately cheap, which means many people find themselves getting merry way too often. Doing so naturally slows the pace of life, the mindset begins to unwind and people find themselves letting go a little bit more.

Another common trait of the Spanish people is that they like to have a late lunch, and as the conversation flows, a lunch setting may last for hours. Alongside the late lunches, events tend to be organised late too, so all round it’s a very late way of life.

An interesting factor about Spain and the Spanish traditions is that they use the Central European Time and as they’re a southern country, they get more hours of daylight than most other European countries in the winter.

So no matter who may try to change it – there are people who love it and people who are not so keen. But in all, if this relaxed lifestyle makes people happier and brings humanity together, then what’s there not to love about eating dinner late?

It just may be that the Spanish traditions are some to follow.

Written by Gemma Smith

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