MADRID - EVENTS

Carnival in Madrid which marks the beginning of Lent involves the traditional grand parades coupled with various individual festivities.

1st Friday in March - "Fiesta Cristo de Medinaceli"
The Igresia de Medinaceli (church) in the Calle de Medinaceli (2) attracts thousands of visitors to pay homage with three wishes mad ein front of a fugure of Christ. It is is the believe that one of the wishes will be fulfilled.  
2nd or 3rd week in March - "Expo/Ocio, Feira del Tiempo Libre"
In the Parque Ferial de Juan Carlos I an annual exhibition is mounted relating outdoor life and sports.
19th March - "Fiesta de San José"
This is a public holiday throughout Spain to honour Saint Joseph.

Easter Week - "Semana Santa" 
During the Easter Week and particularly on Holy Thursday and Good Friday there are religious processions and church services. In the town of Chinchón which lies to the southeast of Madrid mounts a Passion Play which draws great crowds. During this same week a Artisans & Ceramic Fair is held at the Plaza de la Comendadors (3).

23rd April - "El Dia de Cervantes"
A Book Fair is held at the Alcalá de Henares (4) to commemorate the death of this famous 16th Century Spanish writer.
Last Sunday in April - "The Madrid Marathon"

1st May - "Labor Day"
A public holiday in honour of the Spanish working population. A large rally is held in the Plaza de la Puerto del Sol (1).
1st May - "Festas de Mayo"
Local towns of Ajalvir, Casarrubuelos, Frenso de Torote and Torrelaguna, all hold "Fiestas".
1st Sunday in May - "Las Mayas"
Each street in the district of "Lavapiés" (1) elects a May Queen who spends most of the day sitting on a dias surrounded by flowers and receiving homage.
2nd May - "Día de la Comunidad"
A Madrid public holiday with military parades in the Plaza de la Puerto do Sol (1). On this day the whole population of Madrid celebrates with a series of concerts along with open-air dancing and various sporting events. As to be expected the traditional Bullfight is also staged.
15th of May - The patron saint of Madrid is "San Isidoro" and he is celebrated on this day. Bands play nightly in the Jardines de las Vistillas, Calle de Bailén (1). This marks the beginning of the real Bullfighting season that is in the Plaza Monemental Las Ventas and last until the middle of June. This period commences with the procession "Romeria" where traditional "Catizo" dress is donned and along the route hawkers will sell to the passers by "Barquillos", "Buñuellos" and "Rosquillas" for them to eat. During the month long festivity there will be concerts, open-air dances, and many other events.
End of May - "Corpus Christi"
Religious holiday with processions in Madrid and Toledo.
Last Sunday in May - "Romería Alpina"
At Lozoya there is a country procession with the "La Virgen de la Fuensanta"
End-May to mid-June - "Feira del Libro"
A Book Fair is held in the Parque del Retiro (2).

13th June - "Fiesta de San Antonio de la Florida"
On this day each year unmarried girls will pay homage to Saint Antonio by placing in the Font at the Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, Glorieta San Antonio de la Florida (4), 13 dressmaking pins, after which they have to dip their hands into the Font. Tradition states that if one of these pins happens to remain stuck to the girls’ finger then she will be married before the year is out!

9th July - "Concierto de la Velas"
At the Pedraza in Segovia a candlelit fiesta is held.
16th July - "Fiestas de la Virgen del Carmen"
District religious fiestas in Chamberí (2).
25th July - "Fiestas de Santiago Apóstal"
This day is a public holdiay throughout Spain for its patron Saint.
26th July -  "Romería Celestial"
The town of Alameda del Valle holds a religious procession that climbs 3 kilometers to the La Ermita de Santa Ana.

6th to 15th August -  in some of the districts of Old Madrid (1), the Fiestas de San Lorenzo, San Cayetano, and the Virgen de la Paloma are commemorated. Processions, open-air dancing, and sidewalk concerts are held.
10th August - "Fiesta de San Lorenzo"
This fiesta is held at the El Escorial Palace outside Madrid.
12th to 18th August - "Fiesta de San Roque"
A combination of Bullfights and "anís" tasting takes place at the town of Chinchón.
15th August - "Asunción"
A national holdiay.
24th August - "Fiestas de San Bartolomé"
Processions, classical theatre and bullfights are to found at Alcalá de Henares.
End of August - "Encierros"
The traditional "street bull-running" in the town of San Sebastián de los Reyes and at at Cuellar near Segovia (dating back to 1546).
End of August and early September - "El Motín de Aranjuez"
The abdication of King Carlos IV in 1808 is celbrated with outdoor concerts, fireworks and bull fighting in the town of Aranjuez.

Christmas - In Spain the act of Christmas is celebrated in homes on the eve of the 25th of December. It is the custom for a feast to be prepared in every home starting with shellfish, followed by a fish and then some meat. After presents are exchanged over coffee and liquors the family usually leaves home to attend Midnight Mass. The 6th of January is very important to Spanish children for it is on this day that they receive their major Christmas presents. The night before each city and town holds processions and sweets are distributed from the floats to the eager youngsters.

Old Madrid (1)  -  Bourbon Madrid - (2)  -  Castellana (3)  -  Surrounding (4)

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