6 nov 2015

Día de la Almudena!

It’s a three day weekend at AIL Madrid! Why? Because Monday is the Día de la Almudena! What’s that? Let us tell you!

The Día de la Almudena is a deeply meaningful holiday for Madrilenians, celebrated with a very traditional tone on the 9th of November each year. As with most national holidays in Spain, this day comes with a fascinating story rooted deep in the history and heart of the country: in the year 711, the Madrileñians hid a statue of the Virgin Mary, known as the Virgen de la Almudena, in the walls of the city before an invasion. Centuries later, Alfonso VI re-conquered Madrid from the hold of the Saracen people and, as his Christian soldiers walked in a procession, the part of the wall protecting the statue crumbled to reveal her hiding place.

Since this day, the people of Madrid have held a ceremony to mark the day the virgin showed herself to the victorious residents of her city. Now the Patroness of Madrid, the Procession of Almudena begins in the Plaza Mayor and continues to the Plaza de la Almudena, where flower offerings are made and further ceremonies are performed. There is also a concert held in honor of the Virgin on the evening beforehand, in the Catedral Santa María la Real de la Almudena.

Again, like all Spanish traditions, the Día de la Almudena wouldn’t be complete without on iconic snack. Coronas de la Virgen de la Almudena, which are sweet and are similar to Roscón de Reyes, are often bought to be shared and enjoyed among family and friends. So enjoy your three day weekend here in Madrid by picking some up and sharing them with your newfound AIL Madrid family!

For those of you looking for a less religious celebration, the festival de las castañas y buñuelos (Festival of Chestnuts and donuts) is being hosted by the Madrid Río this Sunday!

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