1. Madrid's Single Women Prick Their Fingers for a Husband
Every year on May 15th, single women from Madrid flock to the Ermita de San Isidro chapel in the hopes of finding a husband. According to local legend, if the women prick their fingers with pins while inside the chapel, they will be blessed with a husband. This tradition has been passed down for generations, and continues to be a popular event in Madrid.
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2. The Most Visited Country in the World
Spain is an incredibly popular tourist destination, ranking third in the world according to the World Tourism rankings (2013) compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. With an impressive 60.7 million international visitors, Spain is only outdone by the United States and France. This remarkable number of tourists is a testament to the country's stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history.
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3. The Battle for Catalonia: A Clash of Cultures
In Catalonia, Spain, there is a highly controversial law that requires shop signs to be written in both Catalan and Spanish, as well as requiring radio and television stations to broadcast a minimum quota of their shows in Catalan. This law has been met with much criticism, as it has been seen as an attempt to impose the Catalan language on the region, despite the fact that Spanish is the official language of Spain. The law has been a source of tension between the Spanish government and the Catalan people, and has been a major point of contention in the ongoing debate over the region's autonomy.
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4. Wearing Glasses in The Law Says You Must Carry an Extra Pair
If you're planning a trip to Spain and need to wear glasses, don't forget to bring an extra pair. According to Spanish law, drivers must carry an additional pair of glasses while driving. This is to ensure that drivers have a backup pair in case their primary glasses are lost, damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable. So, if you're planning to drive in Spain, make sure you bring an extra pair of glasses with you.
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5. Spain's Stable Success: King & President
Since 1978, Spain has had a unique system of government, with both a King and a President. The King of Spain is responsible for nominating a candidate for the presidency, who is then voted on by the Spanish people. This system has been in place since the country's transition to democracy in 1978, and has been a key factor in the stability and success of the Spanish government.
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6. The Legacy of the Franco Regime: Religious Intolerance in Spain
. In Spain, only 2% of the population declare a belief other than Roman Catholicism, a result of the Franco regime's policy of granting legal status only to that religion. This has had a lasting impact on the country, with the vast majority of Spaniards still adhering to the Catholic faith today. Despite the fact that the Franco regime has been gone for decades, its legacy of religious intolerance still lingers in the country, making it difficult for other religions to gain a foothold.
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7. Toothed Tales from A Tradition of Tooth Mouse Gifts
In Spain, the tooth fairy is replaced by a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez. This unique tradition involves children placing their lost teeth under their pillow, and in return, Ratoncito Perez leaves them a small gift. This beloved character has been a part of Spanish culture for over a century, and is a beloved figure among children.
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8. Running of the Bulls
In Spain, bullfighting is a traditional event known as "a corrida de toros" which translates to "running of bulls". The season for this event runs from March to October, and the bulls must weigh a minimum of 460 kg (1010 lbs). This centuries-old tradition is still popular today, with thousands of spectators gathering to watch the spectacle of man versus beast.
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9. The Most Successful Double Agent in History
Joan Pujol Garcia, a Spanish double agent, is widely regarded as one of the most successful double agents in history. His remarkable achievements during the Second World War earned him the rare distinction of being the only person to receive an Iron Cross from both the British and the Germans. His invaluable contributions to the success of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, were instrumental in the eventual victory of the Allies.
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10. The World's Biggest Food Fight: La Tomatina
Every year on the last Wednesday of August, the small town of Buñol, Valencia, Spain, plays host to the world's biggest food fight - La Tomatina. This event has a long history, dating back to 1945 when a crowd of people, enraged by a parade, began throwing vegetables at each other. The event has grown in popularity since then, with an estimated 150,000 tomatoes being thrown each year. La Tomatina is a unique and exciting event that draws people from all over the world.
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