The origins of Galician culture

Having never been under Moorish occupation, as was the south of Spain for up to 700 years, Galicia’s culture is very different from stereotypical Spanish culture.

The profusion of extremely pale Galicians, a fair number of whom have blond or red hair, is testament to a much closer linkage with Celtic and Viking peoples, and this influence is very visible in Galician music, art and architecture and arguably also in the people who are in general terms more reserved and conservative than the Andalucian stereotype many foreigners associate with Spain.

Religion and fiestas

Of course Galicia does have much in common with the rest of Spain. It was a Roman province for many centuries and has remained staunchly Catholic ever since, although in the last few decades church attendance and religious adherence has waned considerably.

Galicia also has many of the modern Spanish cultural norms such as the day split by a long lunch break and each and every small town having its own fiesta once a year. In addition to this all shops are closed on all but a few Sundays throughout the year.

Galician culture in general

More generally, Galicia’s culture is very much of the land and the sea, of family and the home, and of eating and drinking …and more often than not of all of these things put together.