SPANISH FESTIVITIES: SAINT ISIDRO TRADITION AND CELEBRATION
TRAVEL TO MADRID AND DISCOVER SAINT ISIDRO
There are multiple festivities in all countries and each one has its manners and traditions. Saint Isidro is one of the most important festivities of the capital of the country because it is done as a tribute to the pattern of the city of Madrid. It takes place in “La Pradera de San Isidro” the 15th of May and it is characterized by being full of light and the colour, by its pilgrimages, festivals, attractions and traditional performances.
So, why don’t you travel there?
¿How this festivity emerges?
The story goes about San Isidro, a professional farmer since he was younger and a very pious man, who prays always before start working. He was discovered by his pattern praying among the bushings while the oxen were plowing alone.
The legend also tells that during a drought Saint Isidro hits his rod against some rocks and among them the water flowed.
Nowadays, this water is preserved as a fountain in Saint Isidro’s hermitage, where all devotees go to drink and fill their jugs and bottles, forming queues of several hours.
San Isidro has a very deep relationship with the water and during the festivity, a procession is done to avoid drought.
What can you do during Saint Isidro as a tourist?
Since the sixteenth century, it is usual to make a “picnic” on the grass prairie and take water from nearby springs and from Saint Isidro’s fountain as we said before.
Around “the Prairie” there are many fast-food and sweets stalls, in which the “Shortbread the Holy” is sold. This is a typical anise sweet and it has different names depending on the one you choose: Santa Clara (coated with icing sugar), Tontas (without any type of coating), Listas (completely covered with lemon), the Tia Javierana and Las de Fuenlabrada.
Besides the typical sweets, is tradition to eat typical Madrid cuisine as the “entresijos”, “gallinejas”, Spanish omelette, pie or even stew.
The celebration is spread throughout the city and even regional dances are done in the Plaza Mayor. The most famous dance is the “chotis”, which besides being the regional dance, is very interesting because it is the woman who directs and leads the man throughout the dance.
In addition, all the dancers and even tourists are dressed as “chulapos” which is a typical regional dress, during the festival.
- For men: a white scarf around his neck, a waistcoat with a carnation in his lapel, tight dark pants, plaid cap and booties.
- For women: a headscarf with a red or white carnation, a white blouse, and a tight dot dress or a skirt down to the ankles, along with the classic Manila shawl.
Another event that is very important and takes place throughout the week, are the bullfights, carried out by the most famous bullfighters of the time and given in the Plaza de las Ventas, one of the most important bullrings worldwide because it occupies the third position in terms of size.
From MyHOSTpitality, as we want you to enjoy this festivity, we have summed up what you must do during these days in the capital.
- One day in “La Pradera de San Isidro” eating and drinking under the sun of May, accompanied by both, family and friends.
- Eating sweets and the donuts we have discussed above, in the capital
- See “chulapos” and “chulapas” dancing a chotis in the Plaza Mayor or even in the “Pradera de San Isidro”.
- Enjoy a bullfight in the Plaza de las Ventas or even a whole afternoon of bullfights with the best bullfighters.
- One-night festival with free concerts and children’s attractions such as merry-go-round. If you have time, don’t forget to go to the most famous festival, which is located in the Puente de Segovia and is called “The Vistillas”.
- A souvenir of this festivity: a chulapos’ cap, a chulapos’ tissue or a Manila shawl.
And if you don’t have accommodation jet and you want to go but without spending a lot of money, the only thing you have to do is to join our community. Then, you have to search for a native family in Madrid that fits with you, contact them and go to their house during the festivity. They will be delighted to show you Madrid, and its typical manners and places. In exchange, you will only have to speak your native language with them during some hours a day.
What are you waiting for? Enjoy this festivity!