FOR MANY decades, campaigners in Spain have complained that the average Spaniard’s habit of keeping extremely late hours and taking exceptionally long lunch breaks was making everyday life harder for citizens.
However, all that may be about to change in the near future as over 100 professional bodies in Catalonia have signed up to a plan to change the daily routine in the region by 2025, shortening the accustomed three-hour lunch break so that members of staff can finish work earlier in the evening.
Such a radical change would dramatically alter the traditional customs of the average man and woman on the street, and controversially, it could drive a wedge between Catalonia and the rest of Spain, where the national government already supports similar changes but as yet hasn’t formally agreed any implementation for such a move.
Whatever and whenever it happens, it certainly won’t be the end of the siesta as the Spanish tradition of the afternoon nap probably, if the truth was known, died out many years ago.
After starting work between 8.0 and 9.0am workers find themselves growing in hunger having to wait for lunch which, in some establishments, can happen as late as 1.30 or 2.30pm. With some probably seeing it as a kind of compensation for the delay, they stay away for up to three hours of a multi-course lunch – seen as the most important meal of the day in Spain – and maybe a stop at one of the growing ‘nap bars’.
Many stores and businesses still close down until the late afternoon, before a final burst of work between 5.30 and 8.00pm before heading home at an hour when most people in other countries are cleaning up their dinner.