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© Corrado Baratta/Shutterstock
© Corrado Baratta/Shutterstock
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A Guide to Madrid’s Easter Festivities

Picture of Lori Zaino
Updated: 29 March 2017
Celebrating Easter in Madrid includes a whole week of festivities, plus some special foods you can eat well before and long after the celebration begins and ends. Here’s a brief guide to Madrid’s Easter celebrations: what to see, where to go and what to eat.

Relax during the Dias Santos

While the whole week before Easter is important in Spain, the Dias Santos (Saints Days) that are most important are the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Easter as well as Easter Sunday itself. Almost all companies close during this time and it’s likely that smaller businesses, shops and stores will also be closed. If you have errands to run, do them earlier in the week, and plan to relax and chill during these festival days.

Chow down on Torrijas

Similar to French toast, this sweet treat is made of bread, milk, sugar and eggs, and can be found at bakeries in Madrid before, during and after Easter. Eaten as a dessert (or perhaps a breakfast food), torrijas are deep fried and can also include honey, cinnamon or other sugary adornments. The origins of this dessert date back to the 4th or 5th century and it was popular during Lent because families needed to use up all their leftover bread since they weren’t eating it during this time. Nowadays, bakeries and families make torrijas every Easter season as a tradition, and they can be found all over Madrid during the months of March and April.

Torrijas during Easter in Madrid | © Javier Lastras/Wikipedia
Torrijas during Easter in Madrid | © Javier Lastras/Wikipedia

Jam out to a free concert

Although sacred religious music may not be your ideal set of tunes for a dance party, it’s a cool cultural event to witness. Several churches in Madrid are offering free concerts (starting March 31 and going through April) like the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the Parish Church of Santa Cruz and the Pontifical Basilica of San Miguel. Most concerts are in the evening and details can be found on the official calendar here.

Check out a procession

Spain is famous for its processions during Holy Week, especially in the south. But Madrid also has processions, like the Cristo de Medinaceli, which is celebrated on Good Friday, as well as many others, like the Nuestro Padre Jesús de la Salud which occurs on the Wednesday before Easter. The processions usually consist of people walking and carrying special floats decorated with holy items, like statues of Jesus, Mary and more. Some processions are celebrated with music or singing and others are done in silence. For the full list of processions, check out the official calendar here.

Processions through the Plaza Mayor during Easter season | © PromoMadrid, author Max Alexander/Flickr
Processions through the Plaza Mayor during Easter season | © PromoMadrid, author Max Alexander/Flickr
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Enjoy some drumming

As a finale to Easter Week, a drum parade will be featured in Plaza Mayor on Easter Sunday at noon. The drummers will parade around, playing a lively soundtrack to celebrate the final day of Easter celebrations.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain

Hear some flamenco

Flamenco may just be Spain’s most traditional art form, and as a tribute to the 400th birthday of the Plaza Mayor, flamenco concerts will be happening around the city. The shows will be in different plazas, featuring five different flamenco singers encompassing five generations and styles. Exact details for each concert can be found on the official calendar here.