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The science behind why the Spanish eat so late

Easyvoyage logo Easyvoyage 22/05/2017 Bella Eadie

View of the city of Toledo, Spain © jslsvg/iStock/Getty Images View of the city of Toledo, Spain With their 3pm lunches and 10pm dinners, it is often presumed that Spain's culture of eating late is linked to the the locals much more relaxed attitude to life coupled with the warmer climate of the Mediterranean. However, the true explanation is a little more complicated than we thought.

Spain as a country has actually been living in the wrong time zone for over 70 years. It follows the Central European Time (CET) instead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which means that Spain's clocks are in sync with those in Serbia more than 2000km away. In the year 1940 General Francisco Franco, who was at the time the ruler of Spain, had in fact taken the decision to put the clocks forward one hour, as a sign of solidarity with Nazi Germany. After the end of WWII the clocks were never reset thus making the temporary change permanent.

© Provided by Webedia SAS The Hispanic way of life with its longer sunny days and late sunsets can be described as an eternal "jet lag". It may cause disruption of sleep and decreased productivity as the typical Spanish working day starts at 9am, broken up by a long lunch between 2pm and 4pm and often lasts until 8pm.

These staggered hours do, however, force people to enjoy their social life during the long lunch breaks and evenings. The two-hour lunch period also gives people the opportunity to enjoy one of the country's most well-known traditions: the siesta.

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