The Community of Madrid presents the Virtual Fair of Madrid for Christmas, through 86 photographs, dated between 1930 and 1970, belonging to photographic boxes kept in the Regional Archive and in the Madrileños Collection, a review of the typical traditions of these parties in the region is made.
The atmosphere of the streets of Madrid, the Christmas lighting, the nougat stalls, the turkey or the pheasant, the nativity scenes, the endless queues at the entrance to lottery shops, establishments with large Christmas baskets, children glued to shop windows of toys or the procession of the Magi Kings has become the character of a selection of images that show the 40 years of Madrid’s history.
This virtual exhibition, which can be viewed through the Community Archives of Madrid portal, is organized into five large sections and each one is accompanied by a famous Christmas carol related to its theme.
December begins and Madrid prepares for Christmas, under the title Luces, villancicos y aguinaldo the first section shows us typical images of these dates such as the tents in the Plaza Mayor, where families go in search of tambourines, zampombas and whistles with those children and adults walk through the city streets putting their soundtrack in a lively and festive atmosphere.
Photographer Martín Santos Libero records with his camera the moment when some children see the Christmas statues that have been installed in Santa Cruz Square. It also shows how the streets are illuminated with colored lights, like the one seen in the photo of Plaza de Santa Ana in 1965. A few streets away, the artist immortalizes the newly installed Christmas tree in Puerta del Sol, sharing the plane with the bear . The strawberry tree seen in a photograph dated 1973.
The second section brings us closer to the virtual exhibition, Fathers ¡Belen! , one of the most rooted Christmas traditions. Not in vain, the story of the first birth goes back to the idea of Saint Francis of Assisi in the thirteenth century, and his arrival in Spain with enormous popularity during the reign of Charles III, who was king of Naples and from where he brought this custom.
Thus, the images of the boxes of the Regional Archive of the Community of Madrid, present us with images of all types of nativity scenes. From the monumental buildings on the facade of Galerías Preciados (1953) and Plaza de Santa Ana (1964), to the beautiful groupings in the arcades of Plaza de las Descalzas (1973) or Plaza de la Villa (1960). , passing the most unlikely as the one installed on the occasion of the landing of man on the moon (1969), or a very original one in seat 600 with a typo in the caption (1966).
However, if there is a date that marks the end of these festivities, it is the celebration of the Christmas lottery draw, to which the third section of this exhibition entitled Sai Amanhã! is dedicated. Professors Quintero, Leon and Quiroga wrote for Dona Manoleta and Concha Baker sang.
For over 200 years, this lottery has distributed thousands of prizes, making people happy and allowing the unlucky to celebrate Health Day. Since then, the boys from San Ildefonso, like those who faced the Martín Santos Libero in 1935, with the drums, balls and tables shown in the 1954 report, have made many Madrilenians happy.
Special mention should be made of Doña Manolita, Administration No. 67 in the capital, managed by its owner, Manuela de Pablo, who became the Villa y Corte lottery par excellence for the numerous prizes she distributed. A photo by Santos Yubero from 1948 and another by Nicholas Müller from 1950 show her walking down the street and at her desk.
The fourth Mass is titled Christmas Eve Supper, a tradition that dates back to the 4th century when Pope Julius I designated December 25 as the day of Christ’s birth. In the photos in this section you can see the typical foods on the menu for the most important dinner of the year. Thus, we find internal plans of well-known grocery stores, turkey and pheasant stalls, the most famous workshops in Madrid or the wonderful Christmas baskets that the people of Casa Carrasco have displayed.
The Three Kings Are Coming!
Oath, the Three Wise Men are coming! End this virtual fair with a favorite party for the little ones at home. Through photographs from the provincial archives, we find children looking at shop windows full of toys and posing with Their Majesties of the East in parades. A joy that is manifested in the photographs of the Nino Jesus Hospital (1936), in the piles of toys destined for the children of journalists from the Press Union (1942) or those distributed by the City Council of Madrid in 1935. brothers who in 1953 stayed in The bed is in their room next to the Christmas presents.