Sunday 16 May 2010

San Isidro 2010

By Richard Morley.
Yesterday was the 15th of May. In Madrid that means the festival of San Isidro, the patron saint of the city.

I wrote about this last year, and for me San Isidro is the epitome of Traditional Madrid and it is good to be reminded of such a long cultural history in the modern city of today.

So, in what has now become an annual pilgrimage for me, yesterday morning I set off for the Parque San Isidro. The fiesta gives the people of Madrid the chance to dress up in their chulapas and chulapos and parade in the romeria around the town. Naturally I took my camera and below you can see how the day went. Luckily there seems to be a law against it raining on the day of San Isidro and even though the skies were a little dark and blasts of chilly wind sent shivers even through the thickest jacket, it stayed dry.

There are two types of dress. The Majas on the right predate the Chulapa.
But the later style is definitely the more popular. And I think, more flattering to the ladies.

Even the younger ladies!
But the day of San Isidro is very much a religious occasion. Many believers come to mass before the celebrations begin.

Practising my Spanish I stopped briefly to hear the sermon. Somehow I doubt the priest saw the irony I found in his lesson against "superstition".

But after the religious bit, it's time for eating.

The picture of the huge Paella, above, requires a humerous caption. What is the chef saying to the bearded man? Why is he waving a stern finger? Suggestions in the comments section if you feel inclined.

Toasted ear for anyone?????!!!

Yum!!! Churros!!
And a time for fun.

And games.

Just because you are dressed as a grown up does not mean you can't play like children.

Or become a woman of mystery

Even dogs get to dress up.

And it really is about the clothes. It's a chance to look sophistocated .....

Or sweet!

Happy San Isidro Everyone.


  1. hey!! I just realized I was in Madrid this time two years ago...we got to walk thru the streets with the saint's statues carried on teh crowd's shoulders, and a great parade of traditional costumes..I have a photo of that first gentlemen far right in the grey suit, and maybe the women with him too.

    It was really hot tho, that year, and i was massively pregnant with twins..

    nice memories! especially an evening when we ate Morcilla in a restaurant called..what was it...Albur, near the metro Bibloa..fantastic restaurant...

    ps what is it with the strange voodoo shops in Madrid? all those potions and wax effigies...

  2. I know what he's saying...
    "When I can tell you how to do your job....THEN you can tell me how to cook a good paella!"

  3. I love your photos, will you please post some more of this festival San Isidro. I live in portugal and have a great interest in finding out where and when they happen.
    Regards Sam

  4. The cook is saying: "No, no, no. No one is allowed to take a picture of my paella!"

    And Richard goes, "I agree!"