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Every year on and around May 15th, Madrid honours its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador with a packed programme of events. These events feature concerts, shows and an endless range of activities for all ages.

Tradition meets modernity in the week-long festivities that see Madrileños dress up and dance chotis (a 19th-century traditional folk dance similar to a German polka that involves one dancer being twirled around by their partner while their feet remain planted firmly on one spot) in the streets and enjoy picnics with friends and family in the Pradera de San Isidro Park.

Many miracles have been attributed to Isidore the Labourer, who was born and died in the Spanish capital. It was believed that he had a special ability for finding water, one of the festivities’ largest traditions see chulapos and chulapas drinking saint’s water from the sprint next to the Ermita de San Isidro.

Like with many Spanish celebrations, San Isidro comes with its own traditional food and drink offerings, such as…

Limonada, a drink made with wine, lemon, sugar and chopped fruit (usually apple). Rosquillas, doughnuts that come in different shapes and sizes: Listas (glazed), tontas (plain), de Santa Clara (covered in dry meringue) or francesas (with almonds). Bocatas de calamares, fried squid sandwich. Chato de vino, a small glass of wine.


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