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Festivals & Holidays in Madrid
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Madrid's Events Calendar
Before arriving in Madrid, you must take into consideration the local calendar in order to specifically adjust your vacation - if you want to take part in a certain celebration or avoid a visit when the city is shut down.
The Spaniards are known for celebrating all year long but when there is a holiday or a festival it can make the trip a real party. On the other hand, there are a few days when the city's sites and shops are closed and so it is worth taking this into account.
We have attached you the calendar with the main events in Madrid.
New Year's Eve - Año Nuevo
Date: December 31-January 1.
Essence: the New Year's celebrations take place throughout the city with the focus being the “Puerta del Sol” square. Tens of thousands of people are gathered in the square, holding 12 grapes (as the number of months) that they swallow during the countdown. After the countdown, the celebration continues into the night on the city's lush streets.
City Situation: On January 1, everything is closed, including museums. There is no public transportation.
The Three Kings - Los Reyes Magos
Date: January 6-7.
Essence: A local holiday in which the children of the city write to the "Three Kings" requests and express their wishes. On the eve of the holiday, it is customary to leave a bucket of water and Turrón (nougat) for the kings and their camels and in the morning the children wake up and surprisingly find the requested gifts.
City Situation: A day off for all residents. Performances are taking place around the city as the rest of the locals enjoy traditional sweets and the famous kings cake.
Carnival Madrid -
Date: End of February-early March.
Essence: The carnival is the last opportunity to celebrate and rejoice before the Easter fast and therefore the city's restaurants and booths will be in abundance of special dishes.
City Situation: Many costume competitions and huge parties take place at the various city points and at the culmination of the "Sardine Burial" parade.
Holy Week Parade - Semana Santa
Date: End of March-early April.
Essence: Christian-religious festival, during which a procession takes place throughout Spain, centered on human-sized statues of Jesus and Mary and alongside church and choir players.
City Situation: Religious and colorful holiday atmosphere, especially in the La Latina neighborhood.
Worker’s Day -
Dia del Trabajadores
Date: May 1st.
Essence: Mark the worker's holiday for better working conditions.
City status: Some of the city's sites and shops are closed on the eve of the various processions.
Liberation Day Madrid from the French - Liberacion de Madrid de los Franceses
Date: May 2nd.
Essence: An official holiday symbolizing the rebellion of the people of Madrid against the Napoleonic invasion of 1808.
City situation: Bullfight in Plaza del Toros and parades between the main squares, the “Dos de Mayo” square in the neighborhood of Malasaña.
Saint Isidro - San Isidro
Date: May 15th.
Essence: The celebrations in honor of Saint Isidro, the defending saint of Madrid.
City mode: Colorful carnival and lots of performances and parades are taking place along the river and Plaza Mayor.
Essence: The holy bread and wine festival based on the representation of the body of Jesus in the Last Supper.
City status: Most shops and sites are closed to visitors on this day, although events take place in churches.
Madrid Pride Parade - Madrid Orgullo
Date: The first weekend of July
Essence: Madrid, considered one of the world's proudest cities, marks the fight for LGBT rights in a huge pride march with millions of participants, performances and parties.
City Situation: The city is packed with hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world, parties and events taking place on every street corner.
Flamenco Festival - Suma Flamenca
Essence: Five days of Spanish celebration marking the national Spanish dance that developed in the south of the country.
City status: Music, dance and singing events in the city.
The Festival of Virgin Paloma - Virgen de la Paloma Fiesta
Date: Mid August.
Essence: An 18th-century celebration with traditional costumes centered on the Virgin of Paloma, the star of the event.
City status: Most of the festivities take place at Plaza de las Vistillas.
Columbus Day - National Day of Spain - Fiesta Nacional de España
Date: October the 12th.
Essence: The Spaniards mark the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (Colón) in 1492.
City status: Military parades and flying over the city sky with national flag colors. Most of the festivities takes place in the Colón square.
Halloween -Día de los muertos
Date: November 1st.
Essence: A Christian holiday dedicated to the memory of all saints who have found their death due to maintaining their Christian faith.
City Situation: Street parties with scary costumes and fancy meals.
Virgin Almudena Day - Fiesta de la Almudena
Date: November 9th.
Essence: A celebration of the patron virgin of the city - Almudena.
City Situation: The festival begins at Plaza Mayor, continues to Puerta del Sol and of course in the magnificent cathedral of the city which is named after the Virgin.
Christmas - Navidad
Date: December 24-25.
Essence: The Christian holiday that marks the birth of Jesus.
City Situation: Madrid is adorned with giant trees with colorful lights for Christmas. The main celebration is on December 24 with the traditional dinner and most of the city's shops and restaurants are closed on that evening and the following day.