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Madrid Festivals

Madrid, like any other Spanish city, hosts a variety of events and festivals to celebrate the culture and traditions of this historically vibrant city.

Aside from concerts, this city also plays a huge role in hosting colourful fiestas and parades where people party all night long, right till the early morning. Visitors and locals can enjoy the customs and values that these Spanish festivals showcase along with all the amusement and celebration that comes along with it.

San Isidro
Credit: Flickr / Bob Fisher

San Isidro

San Isidro is the festival that takes place in the month of May to celebrate the patron saint, Saint Isidro. While the whole city celebrates the festival with live concerts and music shows, the festival grounds are essentially held near Madrid city's riverside area. There are several parades held, and typical sugar foods like rosquillas which are in fact, donuts are also eaten during the day. There are also major bullfighting events in the days leading up to and after this festival.

Madrid Pride (Orgullo)
Credit: CC / Wikier 2017

Madrid Pride (Orgullo)

Madrid Pride is locally known as Orgullo Gay de Madrid or MADO or LGBTQ Pride week. Their pride celebrations are some of the best in the world, and Madrid has the honour of hosting the World Pride event every year, either during the last weekend of June or during the first weekend of July. The celebrations include an epic parade, music events, heels race and concerts. The main celebrations take place at Chueca which is nicknamed as the gay neighbourhood in Madrid.

Dos de Mayo
Credit: Flickr / Nicolas Vigier

Dos de Mayo

Dos de Mayo is held on the 1st and 2nd of May annually and is a public holiday held all throughout the city. It celebrates the revolt of local people against the French rule on May 2, 1808, at Puerta del Sol. It celebrates the independence of the people against the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte and is celebrated widely throughout the city by the locals, especially at the Plaza del dos de mayo in Malasaña.

Carnaval
Credit: Flickr / @ondasderuido

Carnaval

Every year in the month of February, the Spanish tradition celebrates the Carnaval in Madrid city. It is colourful and fun, but not nearly as extravagant as the carnival in Brazil. People join in on the parades, dress up in fun costumes and enjoy a masquerade ball. It is also a perfect time for live concerts and dance parties that are held all around the city. There are certain events that celebrate the Carnaval with families including little children as well.

Autumn Festival (Festival de Otoño)
Credit: Public Domain

Autumn Festival (Festival de Otoño)

Festival de Otoño is Madrid's Autumn festival and is held during the first week of October and lasts for nearly the whole month. It celebrates the country’s top music festivals with dance, music and concerts from artists all over the world. The city's main events are all held at some of the most popular theatres including Teatro de la Zarzuela, Teatro Madrid, the Círculo de Bellas Artes and Teatro Albéniz.

Almudena
Credit: CC / José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro

Almudena

While the San Isidro festival celebrated the patron saint, Saint Isidro, the Almudena festival in Madrid city celebrates the female one, the Virgin of Almudena. The festival takes place on the 9th of November each year and is celebrated with equal pomp and splendour with several parades and events held during the day.

La Paloma
Credit: CC / Barcex

La Paloma

Every year, during the 15th of August, the La Latina neighbourhood in Madrid city celebrates Fiestas de la Paloma or Verbena de la Paloma. Virgen of La Paloma festival. This festival is celebrated in the honour of Virgen de la Paloma (Virgin of Dove). The celebrations are in fact, one giant block party where you can enjoy local food and drinks. The roads are closed off and there are plenty of rides and games to be played, including live concerts, dance contests and parades with people in costumes.

Noche Vieja
Credit: Flickr / emivel2003

Noche Vieja

Noche Vieja is an annual tradition that is held in Madrid that upholds the unique way of the Spanish people of welcoming in the New Year. It is held on December 31, and all the locals and visitors flock down to the Puerta del Sol square to celebrate and eat 12 grapes at midnight as per traditions to welcome in a year of prosperity and good luck. This unique tradition definitely makes it fun to celebrate, especially with the local crowd.

Noche en Blanco
Credit: Flickr / Jose.Madrid

Noche en Blanco

Noche en Blanco happens sometime around early to mid-September and is a night of light and festivities. For one night every year, Madrid city lights up and celebrates culture, arts, literature, dance and theatre. Live music and other events are held at every square in the city, and almost all museum and cultural centres are open till the early hours of the morning inviting in visitors to explore, learn and enjoy.