In Spain, there's no need for a special reason to go out and celebrate, it's seems like the city is always prepare to go out and have good time.
In Madrid, the official fiestas , by calender , are all through the year.
It is different from city to city, but basically , you can find everything almost everywhere.
I, aged 72, was impressed by the difference in attitude to here in England when I went into what was plainly a young people's pub,
In England I have often encountered an atmosphere that could be cut with a knife and occasionally I have encountered insults.
In Madrid, without ever asking, I was found seats in pubs crowded with people in their twenties and thirties and invariably somebody would get into conversation. Whereas I don't seek cocessions t age, it was a very welcome change.
Madrileños eat both lunch and dinner later than in other countries (at least from where I've been to yet). Lunch is usually between 1pm and 4pm and dinner is served between 8:30pm and 11:30pm. What do people do between meals? They go tapas bar hopping, or "van de tapeo".
In Spain (and many other European countries), the drinking culture is quite different from that of the US. The drinking age is lower (either 16 or 18) and the bartenders are not that strict either. However, it is not every person's goal (even young people) to get drunk whenever they go out for a drink. I went to spain and stayed there for about a month last year. I was 16. I was used to the american mentality of --the purpose of alcohol is to get drunk. And I believe that our laws and some influential figure's agendas are counterproductive are major contributing factors of this distorted mentality. However, during my stay in spain, my view of alcohol totally changed because I saw how much more logical and healthy the drinking culture in spain (and france, i went there too) is. It's also very relaxing and a great way to socialize. Just drink a beer during lunch time (especially in the summer when it is so hot). Sangria is really good. Have wine or beer with tapas. Nothing else goes with tapas as well. So, if it's your first time going to spain or another south european country, don't make a fool of yourself by getting extremely drunk at a tapas place or bar...
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An independant cinema in Madrid, La Enana Marron, organizes between 15 and 31 march together with ATA films as part of the international film exchange. 25 short films as well local favorites are shown. its mainly alternative art house movies.
The festival is from August 6 till 15 th in La Latina. There are free live concerts and in the night there is fireworks. A lot of tradintional folklore can be seen and you can see the Madrilenian dance called Chotis. La Latina is just like a village where you can forhet the rush of the big city.
Entierro de la Sardiena is a feast wher they celebrate the end of abstinence of eating during the 40 days before Eastern. It is a dress competion lead by members of the Burial of the Sardine Brotherhood who are dressed in funeral clothes and lead the procession. The feast originates in the 19 th century, started by a group of students.
Madrid has siesta time between 2 and 5 pm. Then the shops are clsed. Not all of them, the big shops like Court Ingles are open all day. The siesta is used to have dinner and to do house hold tasks, so not everyone is actually sleeping during the siesta. And workers, such as construction workers don’t take a siesta at all.
If you are in Madrid go watch a game of Real Madrid, a club who has won the Europe Cup several times. The club is very popular amongst the madrilenes and the football stadium is hughe and cool looking. Another club in Madrid are Atletico Madrid who plays in the Calderon stadium. Real Madrid is located at the Avenida de Concha Espina
Flamenco comes from Andalusia. its a part of the gypsy culture. The best groups, however, are to be found in Madrid. Allthough flamenco is a performance, the most pure form of it is done by a singer and guitar player. Flamenco is performed in the evenings and goes on till deep in the night. Casa Patas is the best place to see flamenco.
There are three moments in the game of bull fighting. the firts two are meant to make the bull weak, the third one the metador kills the poor animal. The metador (bull fighter) wears a costume with glimmers. he carries a red flag to provoke the bull. He kills the bull with spears that are put in the back of the bull. The audience sits at the balconeries of the arena. on the other side of the balconeries, the metador enters through the puerta de caudrillas. One of the best metadors was Manolete, who did in a fight with the bull.
the Madrid workingclass are called the castizons. they live in cuartro Caminos. in these suburbs they have fiesta's and have heir own costumes. they founded numberous clubs. in processions they appear in their typical clothes. Men wear black-wite heads (parpusa) white shirts with a black chupin (vest) and a black trousers, wheras the manola (women) wears a head scarf with at least one flower in it, and a red long dress (falda vestida). In 2 th may the castizos gather to the dos de mayo fiestas.
this comic opera is named after the Palacio de la Zarzuela, the royal resident, and got performed in the 17 th century. it got very popular amongs the common people and got into the popular theaters. it devellopment in a open spectacle a mixture of opera and musical. the msot famous one is La Revoltosa, about life in the corralas.
Madrilenes dont celebrate christmass with presents. The presents are done with Twelpht night (los reyes magos) There is a procession from the Retiro park to the Plaza Mayor with horse carrages. on the twelpht night everyone gives eachotere presents then.
At new years eve (noche vieja) all the madriles gather at Sol, where there is a clock. When the clock starts striking 12 the madrilenes eat at each gong strike one grape, on which they may do one wish. so 12 wishes for each new year!