Scene on 2 May 1808: Residents on Cuchilleros Street, off Plaza Mayor, fight
French forces with whatever “weapons” were to hand


By Jack Wright

Dos de Mayo fiesta celebrated in the iconic barrio of Malasaña in Madrid in 2019 before the pandemic restrictions

Finally, the Madrileños can once again celebrate Dos de Mayo. Join them in commemorating how they booted occupation forces – French – and sent them back to where they belonged.

“Dos de Mayo” is the Second of May uprising in 1808 (actually 2 and 3 of May) which took place in Madrid. It was a largely civilian rebellion, though with some military participation, against the occupation of the city by the French Imperial forces. Inevitably, heavy-handed repression by the occupiers came into play which the Madrileños were obviously not going to tolerate.

Dos de Mayo commemorative plaque in front of the Royal Palace on Calle Bailen where the civilian first uprising erupted

These days when it’s coming out that undesirable elements of Madrid society have exploited the pandemic and enriched themselves with bloated commissions in the procurement of sanitary equipment and got the City Hall and the Madrid Regional Government into political hot water, it’s good to remember that the great majority of the Madrileños are noble-spirited and quite capable of heroism in the face of brutal adversity.

Undesirable elements of Madrid society have exploited the pandemic to enrich themselves

It is for this reason that Dos de Mayo has acquired a broader significance this year.

So celebrate with the Madrileños on their Special Day!

Check out for Dos de Mayo special programming.


Posts about Dos de Mayo you’d like to revisit:

“Second of May: the Madrileños, Napoleon Bonaparte & Guerilla Warfare”
“Scenes of Dos de Mayo in Today’s Madrid”


Featured image drawn by Angel Diaz Huertas, PD from Wikimedia Commons, cropped. Source: Blanco Y Negro magazine
Dos de Mayo fiesta in Malasaña/ Nicolas Vigier, CCO from Wikimedia Commons
Commemorative plaque/Alta Falisa, CC BY-SA4.0 from Wikimedia Commons
Face mask/Adrian Widak, CC BY2.0 via Flickr