Spain Declares World Tapas Day

Small plates are about to get a pretty big honor, because Spain has decided to recognize tapas with its own international day of celebration.

According to The Local, Spain's tourism agency, Turespaña, has declared that from now on the third Thursday in June will officially be World Tapas Day. The event will be celebrated with special tours, workshops, and menus designed in collaboration with various chefs, restaurants, and tourism boards around Spain.

"Tapas is a symbol of Spain and is considered deserving of being the star of its own World Day because it is representative of our cuisine in miniature, is the focus of our most innovative chefs, and because tapas is a word that is recognized in all major languages," Turespaña said in an announcement at the Fitur international tourism trade fair in Madrid.

Food tourism lured 9.5 million tourists to visit Spain in 2015, according to the tourism agency, and World Tapas Day is designed to build on that both by offering attractive, tapas-focused events in Spain, and by building the reputation of Spanish cuisine in other countries. According to Turespaña, more than 20 countries around the world have already signed on to participate in World Tapas Day when it rolls around for the first time at the end of June in 2016.