When do they sleep?

Wake-up Call

Wake-up Call

I’m gathering some personal experiences to confirm what I’ve been told about Spaniards keeping a different schedule than I’m used to.  It started with the time a few weeks ago when El Guapo and I went to a nightclub to hear some of his students play.  It turns out we couldn’t imagine staying up long enough for the party to get into full swing–as we were leaving, someone in the enormous, nearly empty room told us that it would be shoving-room-only between 3 and 5 am.

A week later there was an amazingly loud outdoor concert nearby that was going full steam when I fell asleep around midnight. When El Guapo woke at 4 am it was still going strong. The nightly Fallas fireworks displays in the Turia riverbed begin at 1 am, with music to follow. La Despertá (bands marching the wake-up call around town accompanied by fireworks) happens each morning at 8. And let’s not forget the gunpowder symphony that is la Mascletá, filling the air and shaking the ground each day at 2 pm.

It's not just the little kids

It’s not just the little kids

Mapping all these points across a calendar day, I begin to ask myself, when do they sleep? Someone mentioned that you can catch a nap between the Despertá at 8 and the Mascletá at 2 pm, so that works well, as long as you don’t have work that needs doing during that time. Clearly, not everybody is napping between 8 and 2, because somebody’s got to be making all the explosions, and a lot more people have got to be finding it impossible to sleep through them.

I’ve heard it said that Las Fallas is about not sleeping. And I’ve also been told that Valencia takes the week off for Fallas. Perhaps the days from March 15-19 are about the noise and the lights and the conflagrations, and the next few days are about sleeping to recover from all the noise and the lights and the conflagrations. The whole thing is great fun, and I’m enjoying it very much. It’s also looking likely that before the week is over I’m going to need a siesta.

One thought on “When do they sleep?

  1. Ha, I have to admit I have wondered the same thing about many cities I’ve been in, especially Mandalay and Rome. I think people must sleep in secretly organized shifts because clearly, there’s no one time that everyone is doing it at the same time.

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