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Holidays and Traditions
Filipino Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture

What tradition in other countries is similar to the siesta?


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July 11, 2011 3:26AM

Siesta is a Spanish word that comes from the Latin sexta hora, meaning the sixth hour (after dawn), so a midday nap, usually after the meal.

The siesta probably began in Spain, and then spread to many Latin American countries. The heat of the midday sun, as well as a midday meal would both contribute to its popularity.

It is found in many Latin American countries (except Brazil), as well as in the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Southern Italy, Greece, Croatia, Malta, the Middle East and North Africa.

In Bangladesh and Indian Bengal it is called bhat-ghum, literally meaning "rice-sleep".

In China and Taiwan it is called wujiao. Most Chinese schools have a half-hour nap programmed straight after lunch.

Some businesses in Japan set aside napping rooms for their office workers.

Islam suggests an afternoon sleep between Dhuhr and Asr prayers.


Siestas (a post lunch, afternoon sleep) is widespread in tropical and sub-tropical countries where it is too hot to work in the afternoon. It is usually different for a nap; for example, in Greece people will put on their pyjamas and go to bed in the afternoon.

With air conditioning becoming more widespread, people are now working through the day.

Other customs similar might be yoga and meditation


The siesta is traditional daily sleep of the Iberia peninsula and through Spanish influenced, of Latin America countries. afternoon sleep is also common habit in China, India, Italy (riposo in Italian), Greece, Croatia, Malta. the Middle East and North Africa. in these countries, the heat can be unbearable in early afternoon, making a midday break in the comfort of one's home ideal. however, in some countries where naps are taken, such as Northern Spain, Southern Argentina, Chile, the climate is similar to that of Canada and Northern Europe. besides the climate, in many countries with the habit it is common to have the largest meal of the day in afternoon, in contrast with other countries where only a lighter lunch is taken.

Also Turkey and Iraq.