Spain’s Siesta Tradition Comes to an End
Is it an end of an era for the nation’s siesta tradition? Spain has announced that they intend on abolishing the countries traditional three-hour siestas. Mariano Rajoy, the countries Prime Minister, said he wants to introduce a 6pm finish to the working day.
For some of you 6pm may seem like a late finish, however in Spain it’s common for people to finish work at 8pm. Tradition sees many in the country start work at 10am, staying until 2pm and then taking up to a three-hour siesta before returning to work and finishing at 8pm.
The practice of a siesta originates from a time when many of the population held agricultural jobs. A midday nap was a method for the workforce to avoid the unbearable afternoon heat before returning to work when temperatures were slightly cooler.
It is thought to be a bid to generate support for Rajoy in the countries June elections. The persistence of the siesta tradition has irked many modern workers who are unable to return home during siesta and find themselves milling around waiting to continue their working day.
According to The Independent there was a report by a Spanish parliamentary commission which examined the issue in 2013.
The commission said: “We need more flexible working hours, to cut our lunch breaks, to streamline business meetings by setting time limits for them, and to practise and demand punctuality.”
The report suggests that abolishing the siesta would improve the quality of life in Spain and even reduce marriage breakdowns.