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Madrid’s San Isidro Festivities

May is right around the corner, and with it, Madrid’s San Isidro Labrador Festivities. From May 8th to 17th, the Spanish capital dons its festive attire to celebrate the festivity of its patron saint. Fun times and folklore are guaranteed. Fancy soaking up the local culture of Madrid? Well, this is your chance. Come and join the San Isidro Festivities!

San Isidro

Madrid’s San Isidro Festivities revolve around the figure of Isidore the Farm Laborer, to whom more than 100 miracles are attributed, all of them related to water. Not surprisingly, he is the patron saint of farmers, and he is rumored to have had the gift of finding water. It is for this reason that Madrid’s proudest and most devout locals make their way down to the Pradera de San Isidro on May 15th, to take part in the traditional procession and to have a drink of the agua del santo (holy water) sprouting from the stream near the San Isidro chapel; and all this in their chulapos and chulapas attire. Such a sight to behold!

Midafternoon, the prairie is pretty much lined with rosquillas (typical ring-shaped pastries) and lemonade. If you have a sweet tooth, this is your lucky day, as you’ll be able to choose among rosquillas tontas (with egg), rosquillas listas (with egg and sugar icing), rosquillas de Santa Clara (with meringue frosting) and rosquillas francesas (with almonds). Finger licking good!

If folklore and traditional dance is something for you, don’t hesitate to make your way up to Las Vistillas to see the chulapos and chulapas dance chotis, dressed in their typical costumes. This traditional dance, which originated in Bohemia, gained popularity in Madrid during the 19th century, becoming the most typical dance of the city and fully synonymous with traditional Madrilenian culture. Dust off your mantón de manila (Manila shawl) or your vest, and get dancing! And don’t forget to wear a carnation!

And there is also something for bullfighting lovers, as the San Isidro Festivities bring some of the most noted names in the world of bullfighting to the Plaza Monumental de Las Ventas bullring. In fact, Madrid boasts one of the world’s most prominent bullfighting seasons, and it is not uncommon to see the sold out sign hanging from the ticket windows during the San Isidro Festivities.

Ready to discover Madrid’s most traditional side? Plan your Madrid escapade for the coming San Isidro Festivities, and stay at one of our apartments.