University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Holidays in Madrid

There are times where it can become difficult living in a different country and being away from your family and friends. Usually, the height of these feelings come around during the holiday season. 

For Thanksgiving, the WIPT program hosted a dinner for everyone in the program so we could all be together for the holiday since, of course, it is not celebrated in Spain. However, it wasn’t a traditional Thanksgiving dinner like you would have in the states (Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, etc). Most of this food is very difficult to come by in Spain unless you’re willing to search and pay and arm and a leg for it. Instead we went to a restaurant called Casa Adolfo and had a dinner filled with traditional Spanish food. Our menu choices were as follows:

1

2

I chose the “pechuga de pollo a la villarroy”. The food was delicious, but as with any holiday, the important part was being together with friends for the holiday.

3

December 17th marked the beginning of the Jewish celebration Hanukkah. Judaism isn’t commonly practiced in Spain (since most Jews were expelled out of the country throughout the course of it’s history) but I decided to tag along and celebrate with a fellow WIPT member, Kate and her cousin. We obviously didn’t have a menorah or know where to buy one in Spain, so we had to make do with what we had… which happened to be a few birthday candles and clothespins. Points for creativity to say the least!

4

As the Christmas season approaches in Madrid, the city starts to celebrate by decorating the streets with lights and opening the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor. To get a sense of the Christmas atmosphere in Madrid, here are a few pictures I’ve taken of the lights around town:

5 6 7 8 9 10

The Plaza del Sol serves as the epicenter for the Christmas lights, magic, and holiday commotion. Here you’ll find a giant light up Christmas tree that you can walk inside.

11 12

Walking outward from the plaza, are beautifully lit and decorated streets.

13 14

The Plaza Mayor is the location for the largest Christmas market in Madrid. You can purchase Christmas trees, lights, and holiday gifts while walking under giant colorful cubes!

15 16 17

It’s always fun seeing your city get excited for the holidays and decorate itself with lots of lights and holiday spirit.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday season and embraced all that your city had to offer! 

~Bailey