Tag Archives: Viajar

Ready for the spookiest night of the year? Know All Saints’ Day in Spain

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As every year, on the 1st of November we celebrate All Saints’ Day to remember and honour our deceased relatives. In Spain we usually go to graveyards to visit the beloved dead who have passed away. In fact, this represents an act to keep them alive in our minds. A few days before the 1st of November, graves are prepared and cleaned for that occasion. One of the most traditional actions is to buy flowers and take them as a gift to the deceased.

Regarding the gastronomy, it’s very representative to eat “Buñuelos de Viento” (a kind of small fried cupcake made with eggs, flour and butter filled with cream) or “Huesos de Santos” (a type of sweet made of marzipan filled with egg yolk cream). In some northern areas of the country it’s very common to celebrate “Castañada” (Chestnut party) where people spend the afternoon out in the field and eat chestnuts, typical fruit of this time of the year. In other regions like Valencia, Balearic Islands and Catalonia taste “Panellets” (baked pastry made with powdered almonds and covered with pine nuts). It is also well known the tradition of going to the theatre to see “Don Juan Tenorio”, play written by José Zorrilla. This special masterpiece is performed on this day because the final act takes place in All Saints’ Night and the main character is closely related to death.

Due to American and Anglo-saxon influences, we celebrate Halloween and have also taken customs from these countries. On the 31st of October there are parties in schools where students dress up, make drawings or handcrafts such as carved pumpkins, witches, ghosts and vampires. Some teachers tell scary stories and distribute sweets among the smallest children. Adults enjoy the spookiest night of the year by going out to parties in pubs and nightclubs dressed up and usually stay up late.

If you’re going to celebrate Halloween this year, I suggest you find a good shop, choose a frightening costume and prepare to scare everyone at night in your favourite venue. If you’re skillful and imaginative I also recommend to create your own design. Remember there’s no curfew and just try to have fun.

If you know other traditions in Halloween, I would like you to tell and share them with us.

Get ready for the scariest night of the year!!!.

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5 reasons to choose Spanish as a second language

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When we decide to learn a second language we first think about the benefits of if. It is also important to know the advantages of studying a language. To make it easier, here I present a list of 5 advantages to choose Spanish as a second language.

1. Essential language in the World with great potential

As I wrote the 7th of October (It was actually my first post), Spanish is the second language in the world by number of speakers, the second language of international communication and the third most important language on the web. By 2050 it’s expected that United States will be the first Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Do you want to become another Spanish-speaking person?.

2. Enjoy travelling

Take off!!!

Travelling is one of the most favourite hobbies people like. If you speak a second language this means you could immerse yourself in the country and culture. I remind you that Spanish is not only spoken in Spain. Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela among others Central and South American countries possess the Spanish as official language. I know the language barrier can be frustrating in certain circumstances such as ordering food, understanding directions, travelling on public transport, shopping and so on. So, the best way to avoid all these inconveniences is to speak the language to communicate with native speakers or, at least, have some command of it. In fact, people appreciate when you just try to use it.

Don’t you think this can be a good reason for studying Spanish?.

3. Learn faster and easier than you might think

Most people think Spanish is a very difficult language to learn for its extensive grammar. Verbs are really one of the most complex part of grammar due to all the forms of conjugation but, on the contrary, the phonetics of the language is much more reduced than many other languages (we only have five vowels). So, understanding Spanish is faster for foreign speakers. This doesn’t happen with English or other roman languages such as Portuguese or French whose phonetic systems are more extensive than Spanish.

Besides, Spanish can be used as a jump-start to learn any of the other roman languages due to similar grammatical structure.

Do you dare to face a new challenge?.

4. Become a more valuable asset

Nowadays companies are seeking at least bilingual speakers. This is especially necessary in firms which do business with Spanish-speaking countries or areas with high Hispanic populations in United States (California, Texas, New York,…). Moreover, many large companies also have offices in these countries. By learning Spanish, you’ll become a valuable asset to the company.

China actually requires many experts of different fields with English spoken language for business but we cannot forget that, in recent years, China has become the main source of growth in exports of raw materials from Latin America and the Caribbean while Latin America is the destination of manufactured goods. Thus, becoming bilingual with English and Spanish will open a world of opportunities in the giant Asian country.

In short, the ability to speak Spanish will give you an extra value in the competitive job market.

Why don’t you check your potential?.

5. Spanish culture is on the rise

Closely related to travel, I must indicate that our culture offers a wide variety of options. You’ll discover cities that combine tradition and modernity and small rural towns and villages with charming places with impressive traditional festivities, beautiful natural landscapes and historic centres that take you back in time. Everywhere you’ll also find a delicious dish to taste so, you’ll experience and enjoy our Gastronomy in every place. We also pride ourselves on having one of the most important wine cultures of the world.

Spain’s cultural richness is unique, brilliant and diverse. Spain is the second nation with most designated World Heritage Sites (Cuenca, Segovia, Salamanca, Toledo, Mérida, Santiago de Compostela,…). We count on prestigious museums and centers of art with masterpieces of universal art (National Museum El Prado in Madrid, Picasso Museum in Barcelona and Málaga, The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Museum of Fine Arts in Sevilla,…).

Why not planning to travel to Spain and find out all these attractive elements also interacting with its people?.

For all these reasons I encourage everyone to start learning Spanish. I guess you wonder where you may find some help to begin. I suggest to ask professionals to get good materials and a good teacher to start right now. I hope you embark on this amazing adventure. I assure you won’t regret it and you’ll soon improve your knowledge and obtain good results. Come on and don’t waste a minute. A bright future awaits you!!!.