Madrid offers an impressive variety of cultural
and traditional events. Here a list of the most important ones.
At New Year’s Eve thousands of people meet at Puerta del Sol
to celebrate the start of the new year together. It is tradition
to eat a grape and make a wish to each of the twelve strokes of
the clock, which herald the new year. This event is shown countrywide
Calbagata de Reyes
In the evening of the 5th of January children can watch the Magi
solemnly entering Madrid. When they come home later, the Reyes have
already left their gifts. It is worth to visit this event, even
though there will be no presents waiting for you.
This is the international art fair at the fairgrounds called Ifema
and it is among the most important ones in Europe. It takes place
in the middle of February. More at: http://www.arco.ifema.es
Carnival has been celebrated in Madrid since the Middle Ages. General
Franco prohibited the tradition of carnival during the civil war
but in 1976 the processions continued and they gained more and more
in popularity. On the last day of carnival you can be witness of
the “Entierro de la Sardina”, the funeral of the sardine
at Paseo de la Florida, where a sardine made of cardboard is being
carried in a coffin along the streets.
During Holy Week impressive processions and events take place in
Madrid. Sinners do penance for their misdeeds, during the most important
days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday
colourful processions move throughout the city in honour of the
Virgin Mary and Jesus. This is a huge event, many streets are closed
and you have the feeling that everyone is outside!
Feria de San Isidro
This religious event takes place in May (8 – 15) in honour
of the patron saint of the city. The festival starts with a speech
of the mayor on Friday before the 15th and ends with a traditional
Cocido Madrileño meal (traditional dish, similar to a stew)
on the Sunday after May 15. During this time the most important
bullfights take place in the arena of Las Ventas, you can also visit
one of the many lively festivals in the street or watch an excellent
theatre performance. Many Madrilenians wear their traditional costume,
called Chulapo (for men) and Chulapa (for women).
The most important rock festival in the region of Madrid takes place
on the last weekend of May in Fuenlabrada (18 km to the south of
the city). More at: http://www.festimad.es
Feria del Libro
It takes place in Retiro park and you have the opportunity to ask
some of the most significant Spanish writers for an autograph. In
the end of May / beginning of June.
Noche de San Juan
During the Night of St. John (June 23/24) you can see young Madrilenians
jumping over a fire, e.g. at Plaza Dos de Mayo or at the square
behind the church of San Francisco el Grande.
Día del Orgullo
The gay demonstration in Chueca (gay district) has become the largest
folk festival of Madrid. Here Madrid is dancing in the streets and
on the squares and you can watch colourfully decorated parades.
Veranos de la Villa
This cultural festival takes place between August 1st and 15 and
you have the chance to see numerous exhibitions of photographs and
art, operas, concerts and theatre performances. Among those performances
are smaller and less known bands and ensembles but around Plaza
España you can also see the appearance of internationally
famous groups and musicians. During the night the party continues
at Plaza Mayor and surroundings until the early morning hours.
Verbena de la Paloma
This fesival takes place between August 6 and 15 in the district
of La Latina. During the evening people meet up in bars and you
will see free live concerts everywhere. During the last night you
can admire an impressive display of fireworks. A lot of traditional
folklore is presented as well, which turns this part of Madrid almost
into a village, where you forget about the hustle and bustle of
this large city. You do not want to miss out on that! Go there,
buy a mojito or a “mini” (sounds small but is exactly
the opposite of small, 1 litre) of beer or sangria and enjoy!
The "Club de Música y Jazz San Juan Evangelista"
has been organising the annual Jazz festival in Madrid since the
year 1970, where Jazz legends like Chick Corea or Dizzy Gillespie
have been performing in the last years. This organisation also arranges
other festivals like the Festival Flamenco. The aim is to attract
as many people as possible, so they keep the admission price low.
It takes place in November. A must for Jazz and music fans!
Here a public holiday calendar for Madrid:
||Día del Trabajo (Labour
||Día de la Comunidad:
festival of the autonomous region of Madrid to remind of the
uprising against the troops of Napoleon in 1808
||San Isidro: festival
of the patron saint of the city
||Asunción de la Virgen
||Día de la Hispanidad:
to remind of Columbus arriving in America in 1492
|| November 1
||Todos los Santos (All Saints’