The main population of Spain (known also as Espana) is about 46 million of which about 88 percent are Spanish. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula on the continent of Europe. Worldwide there are about 400 million Spanish in most countries is essential while doing Spanish genealogy.
The Castilian form of Spanish is the national language. Seventy-seven percent of Spaniards are Roman Catholic. Over 1.2 million Spaniards are of the Protestant religions. Although the regional cultures were unified in the fifteenth century, regional distinctions based on history, territorial ties, and language remain strong. The major regional cultures are the Andalusians, Basques, Castilians, Catalans, Galicians, and the Leonese.
Over the centuries, starting in the 1500s, many Spanish left Spain for new locations. Most settled in New Spain in the Americans. The Spanish influence in language, clothing, food, religion and customs is enormous in the Latin American region. The Spanish influence was also present in the Philippines, a former colony of Spain.
Music and dance are important elements in Spanish culture when examining Spanish genealogy. The flamenco dance is popular and the guitar is the favorite instrument to play. An important Spanish holiday is Semana Santa, Holy week, which is celebrated the week before Easter. There are huge parades and religious events. The Spanish also like to have special celebration to honor the local patron saints of their church or town. Again, there would be bonfires, fireworks and large street parades.
The Spanish foods are reflected in the variety of seafood available. Much of the dishes served were influence by Mediterranean style cuisine. Hot, thick soups such as the bread and garlic-based Castilian soup, along with a variety of stews can be prepared. One favorite type of stew is a vegetable and fish-based stew. Preparing the food with olive oil is the major ingredient, Daily meals eaten by Spaniards in many areas of the country are still very often made traditionally by hand, from fresh ingredients bought daily from the local market. This practice is very common in the rural areas.
Football is the number one favorite sport of the Spanish. The traditional sport especially for spectators is bullfighting.