Today is the Assumption and, good "Catholic" country that it is, that means a fiesta in Spain. Here in Madrid it's also the Virgen of the Paloma - patron saint(ess) of the City and of the bomberos (firemen). From what I understand sometime in the late 1700s a very pious Madrileña saved a picture of the Virgen from a group of rowdy neighorhood boys and then built a chapel in her honor. After the queen's sick son was reportedly cured by a pass beneath the picture, the Virgen became cause for celebration. It's still common practice for mother's to carry their children beneath her picture and she's honored today as the "most revered of Virgens." Translation: in addition to a mid-week work break, Madrileños get a big party in the streets down in the La Latina neighborhood.
We headed down there for lunch today and it of course turned into a full afternoon of drinks in the street. This evening the party will be even bigger - the steets are decorated with banners, flags, and flowers and all of the bars have set up outside bars to serve the party-goers. Right now we can watch the parade - a group of fireman will carry a picture of the Virgen through the streets for all to see.
Today is also the big summer lottery drawing - 20,000,000 euros to the winner and various smaller prizes to those who match parts of the winning number. This drawing is basically the second biggest of the year - after the Christmas Lottery. Fingers crossed!!
P.S. I still plan to blog on last weekend's trip to Tarragona and Reus. But mid-week fiestas get in the way... :)