On the 17th February, the day before Lent begins, the traditional Mardi Gras Carnival takes place in Madrid and it features parades, some crazy fancy dress costume parties and flamboyant masks. Along with all these celebrations is another strange but interesting tradition known as the ´Burial of the Sardine´, in which people dress up in funeral attire and cloaks and proceed down the street carrying a coffin, which contains an effigy of a dead sardine!
FESTIVAL OF THE VAQUILLA
Every year on the 2nd of February in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid celebrates fun and vibrant fiesta which is done in memory of the cattle migration which used to take place many years ago.
The festival is a reenactment of the old tradition of herding the cattle through the streets in order to mígrate them to new areas. However, this festival has a slight twist because the cattle are not live, they are man-made sculptures created from various materials and decorated with brightly coloured ribbons, shawls and horns. The participants parade down the street, with their “cattle” doing some unique dances, until they reach the final destination which is the town square. After this each of the cows are returned to where they came from and death is symbolised by firing 3 shots into the air. Similar to communion wine, their death and blood is symbolised by the drinking of Limonada which is a drink made from Red Wine and Soda.
Madrid is well known for its great shopping areas, and from 7th January until the 7th March, the fantastic Winter sales take place and you can grab some absolute bargains at discounts of up to 70% for clothes and shoes.
The best places for shopping in Madrid if you are looking for the big stores are areas such as Gran Via street and Preciados. If you are looking for less mainstream shops and want something a bit different then the Fuencarral street is great, especially for younger people. Alternitavely you can browse through the many second hand and vintage shops which sell clothes and other second hand ítems and these are located in the neighbourhood of Malasaña. Serrano street (Salamanca district) is where you will find the expensive and exlusive brands. Shops normally open from 10-9 everyday (some smaller shops close on Sundays).
If you are a football fan then February promises some great games for Real Madrid. So why not take a visit to the Bernabeu stadium and watch one of the 2 best teams in Spain work their magic! The bernabeu stadium is absolutely enormous and the atmosphere is something that is hard to find elsewhere as everyone knows how crazy Spaniards are about football! If you would like to purchase tickets or look at the fixtures then click here.
Are you interested in classic cars? If so then in February Madrid has the perfect trade show for you called Classic Auto Madrid which is the biggest and most popular classic car expo in Spain. Each year there is roughly 300 exhibitors from 10 countries and approximately 40,000 visitors a year. The trade show is full of enthusiasts and collectors who are looking to buy cars or motorcycles or just to find parts or accessories required in the restoration process. Click this link to register as a visitor.
If you are coming to Madrid and you need a place to stay then check out Habitat Apartments where you will find a great variety of excellent apartments at very affordable rates! Featured below is the beautiful Alcalá Deluxe apartment.
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