Fiesta of St. Isidore in Madrid

Fiesta of St. Isidore in Madrid
Fiesta of St. Isidore in Madrid

On May 15 in Madrid will begin celebration dedicated to St. Isidore (Feria de San Isidoro). This holiday is one of the most popular among the residents of the city, and St. Isidore is considered to be the patron saint of Madrid. Celebration of the Feria de San Isidoro began in 1212, almost four centuries before San Isidoro was canonized, and Madrid became the capital of Spain.

Life of San Isidoro is fully linked with Madrid. According to the legend Isidro was born in 1082 in a suburb of the city, and being a farmer he had a unique gift - he identified places for digging wells. As Madrid lacked clean water, this gift was highly appreciated by the people. Isidoro was a very hard working and religious man and he always helped people, who asked him for help. Therefore, when Isidoro got into troubles, the God showed him a miracle. One day the youngest son of Isidoro fell into a new well and everyone thought he was dead, but the well was rapidly filled with water, which brought the unscathed child to the surface. San Isidro lived for 90 years and died in 1172 and was buried in the San Andres cemetery (cementerio de San Andrés).

Currently, Feria de San Isidoro is celebrated during the whole week, when the whole town turns into a big colorful festival. The capital of Spain is filled with people dressed in traditional national costumes and on all squares are held fairs and concerts. And on May 15 many townspeople gather in the park of San Isidro and arrange a kind of picnic. In addition, during the Feria de San Isidoro begins the bullfighting season, and the first, the biggest bullfighting in Spain is held during the festival on the square Plaza de Las Ventas. Tickets for this event are extremely hard to buy as they are booked a few months beforehand.

Ilya Kozlovskiy

Date: 27/04/2011

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