San Isidro – The Parade of Giants and Big Heads


San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid and the public holiday. A range of varied events take place from the Friday before 15th when the Mayor’s speech begins proceedings and continue until the following Sunday when there is the cooking of an enormous cocido madrileño (Madrid’s most traditional dish, a soup with vegetables and meat). On the day of May 15th many madrileños dressed in traditional gear head for Plaza Mayor where there is traditional dancing and open air concerts. Casa de Campo, the large park to the south west of the centre hosts rock concerts during the fiestas and there are varied events throughout the city.

Around the streets of central Madrid you’ll see organ grinders (barquilleros) in their San Isidro costumes selling traditional sweet snacks called “barquillos“. Although San Isidro was historically a religious celebration of the generosity of San Isidro (a poor farmer) and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza, in giving food to the poor, it is now a excuse for great festivities. This turnaround has been the case in most national festivals. ¡¡Viva España!!

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, I hadn’t the camera with me so I used my…phone to capture this event (“The Parade of Giants and Big Heads”)…

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