Welcome to my "Dos de Mayo" description page, for photos & videos of this event click --> HERE. For this year's program of events that will take place from April 30th-May 5th, click --> HERE
This is a yearly event and if you can be in Madrid on May 2nd, I highly recommend putting it on your "Things to do" list (as if it were not already long enough for Madrid). May 2nd, is "El día de la Comunidad de Madrid" (The day of the Community of Madrid) and a pretty decent "fiesta". This date comemererates the uprising of the Villa of Madrid and the ousting of Napoleon from Spain, hence ending French rule in 1809. This being during the period of Francisco de Goya, one of Spain's most renowned and beloved painters (you can see his statue in front of the Prado Museum), on this day many Madrileños dress up in the royal garb of the historical period. The Las Ventas bull ring even has a special "Goyesque" bullfight on this day as part of the San Isidro Festival in which the participants dress in these clothes. Photos 8 and 9 on the photo page faithfully depict this tradition (I caught those merry "Goya goers" on their way back from the fight). On the Goya topic, there is a very famous painting depicting the uprising in the Puerta del Sol currently hanging in the Prado Museum. The thumbnail (mini ) image below is of this painting and it contains an inscription in the sky (upper left side) saying "Madrid/2 de Mayo". You can click on the image to enlarge the painting.
The day is mostly dedicated to the military in all it's glory. In the morning hours of May 2nd, the festivities begin with a Military (modern day Spanish military) parade that starts in the Puerta del Sol and spills it's way down the Calle Mayor and into the Plaza Mayor where transports await to take the troops back to wherever they come from. The best place to watch from is the Puerta del Sol in front of "La Casa de Correos" (The main buliding with the clock tower) for that is where the troops assemble.
The evening proves even more interesting (in my humble opinion) and we see the Royal Guard (in their Goyesque garb) marching from the Plaza de Oriente, where they assemble in front of the Palacio Real to the Plaza Mayor. They usually begin the ceremony at around 9:30pm but sometimes get delayed (this year they did not make it to the Plaza Plaza Mayor until 11:30 pm). My footage is of the marching into the Plaza and the subsequent Zarzuela that follows (La Revoltosa). All in all a great experience for residents of Madrid and visitors alike.