All madrileños celebrate, between May 11 and 15, their patron San Isidro Labrador, offering the best of what the Spanish capital can offer, with over 200 events to take place is 15 different places in the city, and showcasing local customs as well as trending entertainment.
A large range of varied events will take place, these days, from the Mayor’s speech until the cooking of an enormous Cocido Madrileño, the city’s most traditional dish. Locals dress in Chulapo-style, the traditional Madrid dress: Manila shawls for the ladies, waistcoats and parpusas (a style of flat cap) for the men, and head for Plaza Mayor for dancing and open air concerts. Casa de Campo, the large park to the south west of the centre, hosts rock concerts during the fiestas and there are varied events throughout the city. Around the streets of central Madrid you’ll see organ grinders, or barquilleros, in their San Isidro costumes selling traditional sweet snacks called barquillos.
Here is how the last year’s edition looked like:
On May 11th at 6 p.m. the festivities will start with the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos, the traditional parade. Then, the series of music events begin in Plaza Mayor with a concert by Coque Malla and the Municipal Symphonic Band of Madrid, and continue throughout the whole festival with various live concerts, plus a Madrid Dance Festival on may the 12th. Music will also be available at night in Las Vistillas, where you can listen to flamenco, jazz and electronic sounds, as well as to the most traditional rhythms.
The gardens of Madrid are unquestionably the festivities’ main hubs. In San Isidro Park, besides concerts, chotis and paso doble dances, an many shows for families, it’s also where you’ll find the Madrid-style stew for everyone. The region’s most popular dish will be served on May the 15th starting at 1pm, but first you’ll need to fulfill the old tradition, drinking water from the fountain dedicated to San Isidro and honouring Madrid’s patron saint in the traditional pilgrimage, or romería.
On the 14th and 15th there will also be fireworks set to music in Enrique Tierno Galván Park, and every day at 8.30pm next to the Temple of Debod there will be classical music to live up the sunset.
Looking for more suggestions? Here are two special ones: the chocolatada (chocolate party) on the 12th, and the Feria de la Cacharrería (ceramics fair) from the 11th to the 15th.
Cover photo via https://sanisidro.madrid.es/ where you can also find all the information and timing of the events.