MADRID (AP) — The heat is on, and a Spanish town is taking its afternoon siesta seriously.
Every summer day in Ador, a small farming town in eastern Spain, a policeman reads out a town hall proclamation recommending that locals observe the traditional siesta period between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The advice, given over a loudspeaker system, encourages people to keep children indoors and turn down the volume of TV sets and music equipment.
Mayor Joan Faus told The Associated Press on Friday that locals are not legally required to observe the siesta period. But he said the town hall strongly recommends they stay indoors because “at that time of day it is dangerous to be outside” because of the summer heat.
Spain has endured two heat waves already in July, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some areas. In the region of Ador, which has some 1,400 inhabitants, the summer heat is often unbearable, Faus said.
“From 11 a.m. onwards you can’t be in the street or out in the field,” he said. “All you can see are snakes and lizards and other nasty creatures. The heat is suffocating.”
The siesta, or afternoon nap, is a famous Spanish tradition, though the custom has largely been lost in major cities. In the countryside, however, it is still common, especially in summer.
Faus said town authorities and other nearby municipalities have been issuing the recommendations for years.
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