Every May 15th, Madrid celebrates one of its most traditional and colorful festivals of the year – the San Isidro Festival. All over the city of Madrid, the native inhabitants, called “madrileños”, dress up in their time-honored “chulapos” and “goyesco” costumes to celebrate this joyous occasion. The city welcomes friends and visitors alike to take part in one of the oldest traditional festivities in Spain.
Background of San Isidro Festival
The San Isidro Festival is celebrated in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the city of Madrid. This festival dates back to the 14th century, but San Isidro lived in Madrid in the 11th century, and is often closely associated with water and crops. Over the long centuries, not much has changed in the celebration of the San Isidro Festival. In fact, much of the celebration that is seen today has been going on since the 14th century.
San Isidro Festival Celebration
The San Isidro Festival is usually a three- to four-day celebration in the city of Madrid, consisting of numerous concerts and parades throughout the surrounding area. The locals of Madrid love dressing up and showing off in their traditional costumes while roaming around the streets. Children also enjoy dancing around with their friends throughout the day and the night. It is common to see people enjoying the popular traditional dance of Madrid, called the “chotis”. These are all free events that are held all through the city in which everybody can take part.
San Isidro Festival of 2017, Madrid
In 2017, the San Isidro Festival in the city of Madrid is going to be held from May 12th to May 15th. This is going to be a four-day celebration with more than 200 concerts and parades planned throughout the city, which people of all age can participate in and enjoy.
The celebration for 2017 has been planned in more than 20 different venues throughout the city. The most important of these celebrations will be held at the Plaza Mayor, the Pradera de San Isidro, the Plaza de la Villa and Las Vistillas, where multidisciplinary concerts and other programs will be held. There will also be a number of concerts, programs, and parades organized for everyone to enjoy in some of the other venues of Madrid. These include the Rosaleda near Plaza de Oriente, the Puerta del Ángel, the Plaza de Oriente, the Temple of Debod, Conde de Barajas, Sánchez Bustillo and the Los Carros Squares. As mentioned previously, most programs are going to be free and open for anyone who wants to enjoy them.
A more detailed list of celebrations for the San Isidro Festival of 2017 includes:
- Concerts at the Temple of Debod, the El Retiro park, and the Plaza de Oriente.
- Open-air rock concert at the Casa de Campo Park.
- Folklore exhibition at the Plaza Mayor, the Pradera de San Isidro, and the Las Vistillas.
- Poetry recitation and beatbox concert at the Conde de Barajas Square.
- Various sporting events at the Paseo del Prado and the Madrid Río.
- Open-air social dancing at the Sánchez Bustillo Square.
- Cultural events at the Retiro Park, etc.
Additionally, a number of processions and parades can be seen all through the day in the various streets of Madrid. In the week leading up to the Festival, preparations for the celebration can be observed all around the city.
This is a completely cultural event and the inhabitants of Madrid spare no effort to make it a joyous one. If anyone is in Madrid during the festivals, the celebrations are definitely not something to miss!
This article is also available in Spanish.