Spain is a beacon of diversity, spectacular cuisine, and jaw-dropping sights. Read ahead to find out some of the most incredible facts about this country.
1. La Tomatina, in Valencia, is the world’s biggest tomato fight
20,000 people participate in this competition by throwing tomatoes at each other and attempting to reach the top of a wooden pole to grab the ham at the top.
2. The origin of tapas is still unknown
Some believe that tapas first emerged when innkeepers served their guests a sampling of their food since most people couldn’t read the menu. Another theory is that bar-goers used tapas (which means “to cover”) to cover their glasses of sherry and keep fruit flies away.
3. The Spanish government has been contemplating banning the afternoon siesta
Though the siesta is traditional, some people argue that is decreases productivity in the workplace.
4. Spaniards celebrate the Twelve Grapes tradition on New Year’s Eve
As soon as the clock strikes 12 o’clock, everyone eats 12 grapes, symbolizing good luck in the coming year.
5. Spain is the world’s top producer of olive oil
Over 44% of the world’s olive oil comes from Spain, and the average Spaniard consumes 3½ gallons per year. It’s used in a range of dishes, including desserts!
6. Spanish babies always take on a hyphenated last name
The first name is the father’s last name, and the second is the mother’s maiden name. That means children never have the same last name as their parents!
7. Real Madrid is the second most lucrative sports team in the world
The team is worth over 3 billion dollars. The Dallas Cowboys, in first, are worth 4 billion dollars.
8. Spanish is the second most popular language in the world
Over 414 million people speak the language internationally. Chinese (which includes 13 different languages) is the first most common language.
9. Spain is one of the primary exporters of saffron, the most expensive spice in the world
One pound of dried saffron is made from over 50,000 flowers and costs about $4,000 per pound!
10. Spain has the second highest number of bars per capita
Cyprus is the only country that has more bars per capita than Spain.