Festivals and Celebrations in Madrid
Carnival, a carnival with parades and costume parties culminating on Ash Wednesday with the traditional burial of the Sardine, marks the beginning of Lent.
During the Fiestas del 2 de Mayo, a festival of the Community of Madrid, celebrations include a wide variety of concerts, open-air dancing and sporting events. Bullfights are also held.
May 15th marks the start of the celebrations surrounding the month-long Fiestas de San Isidro honoring the patron saint of Madrid and are the most lively popular festivities in Madrid. Tradition demands that one attends the Romería (pilgrimage) to the saint's meadow to drink from the miraculous water at the fountain of the hermitage. Traditional Castizo dress is worn, and the typical barquillos (rolled wafers), buñuelos (fritters) and rosquillas (doughnuts) are for sale. This time of year also ushers in the famous Feria Taurina or bullfighting fair which also carries the name of the patron saint of Madrid and lasts from the middle of May to the middle of June at the Plaza Monumental Las Ventas bullring. Concerts, open-air dances and outdoor celebrations are also held during this period.
The 13th of June, the day of San Antonio, young girls have a date at the hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida. According to dressmakers' tradition, a single girl must place 13 pins in the baptismal font, and if one of the pins sticks to her finger, she will marry during the year.
August is the month of celebration in some of the typical districts of Madrid. From the 6th to the 15th, the Fiestas de San Lorenzo, San Cayetano and the Virgen de la Paloma are commemorated with processions, open-air dancing, and sidewalk concerts in the park of the Vistillas and vicinity.