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!
13 th july girls throw pins in water put their hands in the water and ask Sant Antonio for a boyfriend. the number of pins that hang on their fingers predict the number of boyfriends. its to see at the paseo de la Florida at the San Antonio church
San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid. one week long around the 15 th of may there is dance music, such as chotis, and bands play in the Jardines de las Vistillas. Its the most important fiesta in Madrid during the year.
Samana Santa (holy week) is celebrated in april, the week before eastern, starting on monday. on thursdays they start with hughe processions in the evening. They carry the enormous havy statues of all the holy figures around the town. thousants of people watch it and the girls scream "guapa" (beauty) when the stautue of Maria arrives. bewteen the ones that carry the statues (some 30 men on bare feets) youth and eldermen walk with black clothing wearing black point coverage on their heads. The procession goes on till late midnight
on friday there are processions going on duruing the afternoon..
In the barrio de los literatos you find the birthouse of Cervantes, who wrote Don Quichot. in the plaza espagna there is a statue of him. In this same writers quarter Vega a famous playwriter lived also. Zorilla lived in the Huertas neighboorhood and wrote his world famous Juan Tenorio play. Famous painters who lived in Madrid were Velazaques and Goya. Velazquez excelled in his work las meninas. Goya painted the famous third may. Madrid also is the place where world's best architects came to build the buildings that made Madrid so special. Sabaitini build the Palacio Real, Gomez de la Mora build the plaza Mayor.
I was very surprised to find out that the normal, local bars are judged by the quantity of dirt on the ground. Right from the entrance you can see a big mountain of garbages. Apparently as dirty it is, the more popular it is. Here is no problem to spit on the round, through every can, or wrap you have on the ground. At the beginning it is strange, but after u forget the dirt, the papers, and just enjoy the people talks, they sure are loud and very jolly.
So if u ever arrive in Madrid don't let yourself be intimidate it, step in, coz u wont regret it :)
Don't take me wrong: If you really want to look as a tourist it's OK for me (and for my fellow madrileños): Wearing a "Kansas, the wheat state" cap, a "Born a Marine" t-shirt, and track shorts will certainly help. But if you prefer to blend in with the locals...
(a) Dress somewhat conservative, or classic. In summer bermudas or walking shorts are fine and t-shirts or sneakers even acceptable, but be discrete.
(b) Do not be obsessed with finding a "tapas bar" - and do not even mention the phrase: for a Spaniard there is no such thing: All bars potentially serve "tapas", the difference is that some have many (or good) and other few (or not-so-good); so rather ask for a place "with good tapas", or (better still) for a good place "para picar algo" ("to peck something"): our common word for the social sharing of small samples of food (... tapas...) is "picar".
(c) If you want to go to a bullfight, go; if you don't, don't go. If you go and it displeases you a lot don't look or leave your seat and wait outside. But while you are there behave as a local: no shouting (leave that to the experts), keep silent when others do... and be discreet when shooting your camera.
Ooops, no more space. If this is seen as interesting I can go on!!
I was told by many locals in Madrid that it was not customary to tip your waiters, and that they are not expected. The Spainish that much pride in what they do and waiters are professionals. They are paid a wage that allows them to live well, and they are not expected to make tips. There will not expect a tip even if they do a good job, it is what they are expected to do to get paid. They will not "get mad" if you do leave a tip because they will know you are a tourist, but they do not expect it. So show the waiters some respect and don't tip them, they don't need it. Take the money you would use to tip and use it on street performers, people that really expects small sums of money. And there are street performers in the more touristy areas of Madrid. So there will be no way to avoid them. Stay and watch for a minute or two throw them some change.
This is something that I really liked about Madrid. The ornate street-name signs can be called everything but ordinary. Each sign contains the name and an ornament that usually reflects the name. These are very detailed, colorful, and, indeed, creative signs. So much thought was put into each of them to make it look so inventive.
The bullfights are very popular in Spain. You can see the history of corrida in Museo Taurino. There is too The Bulla of the Pope Pius V - a document in wich he forbided the bullsfights - but this prohibition was never kept. The Plaza de Toros in Madrid is a very beautiful building. There are some other plazas de toros in the city. And in every one town there is a Plaza de Toros.
I have never seen the bullsfights live, only in the TV, and I`m sure I don`t like it. But I like the torreros dress, it is so colorfull. Really great.
... 'cuz it's not coming, people! ;)
This might not be obvious to all, especially for Americans, so I figure it needed specifying: while in North America, waiters will bring you the bill as soon as you're done eating and tell you to pay whenever you're ready, in Spain, you need to ask for it when you're ready to leave.
The Church is the worship place of the Nuns from the Convento de la Descalzas. It was constructed in the 16th. century. The Nuns are from the Franciscan Order. I loved the brick detail of this church so different to the surrounding buildings in the commercial part of Madrid.
Just loved the street signs - very ornate & much more interesting than "Main Street" The Spanish have a very creative flair when it comes to ceramics, they create very detailed and arty street signs.
I guess in every country people have their own way to celebrate New Year's Eve. Spaniards are eating grapes. Before midnight they get 12 grapes and have about 2 seconds for each grape to eat.
If you celebrate on the streets of Madrid you'll see many street vendors running around with bags of 12 grapes which they sell for 1 Euro each. And of course you can always show up prepared in advance. Just go to any super market and you'll find canned grapes, exactly 12 of them in a can, cleaned of seeds and skin.
like in most other countries madrid has named many of it's streets after people who are somehow part of the countrys history.
what is different in madrid is that there is always a picture of the person that the street is named after on the actual street sign.
it makes the street signs a whole lot more interesting for the rest of us and i find that it's a nice tribute to the people they named the street after.