There are many festivals celebrated during the year in Madrid. In fact, people take festivals as an excuse to go out to celebrate all night long. Some of the most important festivals are:
- The first festival of the year is on January 1st, and is to celebrate the New Year. People stay awake all night dancing and celebrating. They wait since the New Year’s Eve and at midnight they congratulate each other and some people eat twelve grapes supposedly to bring good luck. Many people in the city go to the “Puerta Del Sol”, Colon Square, Cibeles square and “Puerta de Alcala.” to celebrate; others prefer to celebrate in their houses or to go to clubs or bars.
- On the evening of January 5th, people celebrate “La Cabalgata de los tres Reyes” (Three Kings Parade), families go out to see the parade in which the “Reyes” bring candies to the children who go to the parade, after that families get together to eat a big dinner in their houses. The next morning, children who have been “good”, receive presents.
- Carnivals are during February and March; they celebrate the end of the winter and welcome the spring. During this celebration, there are parades and people go to the street or parties wearing costumes. The celebration finishes with the Burial of the Sardine (Entierro de la Sardina.)
- The Dos de Mayo Festival is to commemorate the rebellion of the people against Napoleon’s troops in 1808. Bullfights, concerts and other shows are performed to celebrate this festival.
- San Isidro Festival is celebrated to commemorate the Paton Saint of Madrid. The celebration starts on May 15th and continues for nine more days, during these days the main bullfighting events of the year take place. Also many art exhibitions, concerts, dancing and sporting events take place during these days of celebration.
- San Pedro y San Pablo Festival is celebrated on June 29th. It commemorates the suffering that they went through in Rome and it’s held on this day because it is the day when they died.
- Summer in the Village Festival (Verano en la Villa), is an art festival which starts in June and lasts until September. During this festival, there are many concerts, dance presentations, plays, movies, circus, etc; all of them are performed outdoors on the main avenues and streets of the city.
- San Cayetano, Virgen de la Paloma and San Lorenzo festivals are held during the second week of August. San Cayetano’s main day is August 7th and San Lorenzo is celebrated on the 10th. The Virgen de la Paloma Festival is celebrated on August 15th. To celebrate these festivals, the images go to the streets during the processions; there are also other celebrations which include dancing, performing concerts as well as the degustation of traditional food. All the activities are very colorful and include people wearing chulapo suits. The chulapo is a traditional costume that consists of black pants, a vest, a jacket a cap and probably a scarf.
- The Madrid Autumn festival (Festival de Otoño) starts in October and lasts until November. It holds a number of cultural events which take place all over the city as theatre, dance performances, concerts and movies, painting and photography expositions. This festival usually takes place in the most important places of the city due to the number of important people who go to see the festival.
- On October 12th, it is the National day of Spain, for this reason; there are many celebrations all over the country.
- Every 9th of this month, there is a celebration in honor of Madrid’s female patron saint “La Virgen de la Almudena”. Several masses gather to honor her; there is also a procession where the virgin goes to the city to bless all the people who go to see her.
- During November, it is also celebrated the Madrid Jazz Festival. During this festival there are many jazz performances as concerts, movies and conferences.
- On December 8th, all of Spain and many other countries celebrate the Immaculate Conception’s Day. As the name says, it recalls Maria’s Immaculate Conception.
- On December 25th, Christmas is celebrated. In fact, this celebration takes place during the whole month of December. People decorate houses and street with traditional ornaments and cribs bought in street markets and fairs.
» Madrid Festivals