Madrid Celebrates San Isidro

I may have mentioned a few times already that the Spanish know how to celebrate. This weekend the spotlight is on Madrid. On and after May 15 the city is celebrating the day of its patron saint: Saint Isidore the Farmer, who lived in the 12th century. He was so devout that when prayers took him away from the fields, angels are said to have ploughed the land for him. The Madrileños use the opportunity to dress up in traditional garb, which for men includes the flat “chulapo” cap and for women silk shawls, handkerchiefs and carnations (“clavel“).

As usual, for the freshest and most spontaneous impressions, I turn to Instagram.


This is a weekend of dancing, drinking with friends, being silly, wearing fun clothes, picnics, free performances and fairs all over the city, bull fights, of course – in short it’s a monumental bash!

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Francisco Goya, the painter of Spanish soul, depicted the festive picnic on the meadows as he saw it in 1788:


San Isidro‘s meadows may have almost disappeared, but the spirit of a city that feels a strong connection with its farming forefathers is as high as ever.


Of course, the May weather in Madrid is absolutely gorgeous, a far cry from the July and August inferno.


The description to this picture reads: “The eternal girl with a carnation and a silk shawl: ageless, frenetic, always on the move. You may have run into her at the hour of sunrise. For one thing is for sure: not a soul is asleep tonight.”


About Me

Ann Mailsi is a writer and social media buff based in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. Her interests include fashion, technology, and nature adventures.

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