Each Spanish city has its own saint patron, to honour which there holidays celebrated, ceremonial masses and festivals are organized. Spanish people still follow this tradition and saint patron days are widely celebrated not only in large cities but also in small villages. And last Saturday it was Madrid’s turn for its saint patron celebration: Saint Isidro’s Day.
According to the legend, Saint Isidro was born in 1087 in a Christian family that lived in the small Madgerit city, which is now Madrid. When the boy grew old, he started doing peasant work for his landowner Juan de Vargas. At the same time, he revealed an unusual ability to find sources of drinking water, which made him popular all around the neighbourhood and which combined with great devotion and kindness. St. Isidro lived a long life till 90. Little by little he became one of the most esteemed Madrid saints and in XVI century there was a chapel built on the place where St. Isidro revealed the spring. In 1610 he was officially canonized and was named the patron of Madrid.
This celebration starts Sunday before May 15th and lasts a whole week and you can participate in a lot of celebrations organized in many places in the city and you feel as part of one culture, following our (I was born in Madrid) ancestor’s traditions.
Many madrileños wear the traditional dresses “chulapa dress” (for the girls) and “chulapo suit” (for the boys). The word “chulapo” comes from the word “chulo” that in Spanish language is a derogatory term meaning someone is full of oneself….. and so, madrileños are often described as “chulos” by people from other parts of Spain. You can see these costumes in the photos I am linking below. And although San Isidro and his wife, Santa Maria de la Cabeza were poor people famous for their generosity giving food to the poor, now this celebration is an excuse for big celebrations.
Saint Isidro's chapel
queuing for collecting the miraculous water
the typical ring shaped pastries usually were called "silly" rings (no sugar on it), "clever" rings (covered with sugar) and Santa Clara rings (with a white layer) though now there are plenty more in
every colour you can think of!
of course, there are not Spanish celebrations without a paella dish...
....... that you can eat on the prairie with family and friends
the "chotis" dancing
playing a special madrileño organ
chulapas with tourists
a little photographer chulapa
this is a goyesca (from Goya, the Spanish painter) dress girl
a little chulapo a bit tired of the fiesta
By the way, my nieces Eva and Cris
and my nephew Mario some years ago
(they are now teenagers!) at this same celebration
and Rubén, my other nephew,
inviting you to eat delicious
rosquillas from Saint Isidro
PTA: All the photos were taken by myself.