|Beautifully decorated streets for the |
Virgen de la Paloma festival.
15th August is a bank holiday throughout Spain, with a special significance in Madrid. The Virgen de La Paloma an incredibly famous festival in Madrid, and all the locals participate, so make sure you know about what’s happening so that you can make the most of the celebrations and don’t miss out!
Virgen de La Paloma: History
|The painting that made the|
Virgen de la Paloma so famous.
Although 15th August is a national holiday, it has a particularly special significance in Madrid. In Madrid, 15th August is the Feast of the Virgen de La Paloma. The festival has a long history, dating back to the 18th century, when a lady called Isabel Tintero put a painting of the Virgen de La Paloma in her doorway. Everyone was amazed by the painting and would come to see it, hoping to recover from illness or seek protection. This was how the painting became so famous.
The painting is now kept in the altar of a Church in the parish of the Virgen de La Paloma and San Pedro el Real, in the Latina district.
What’s going on in Madrid this 15th August?
|The firemen always play a|
special part in the
Virgen de la Paloma festivities.
The religious festivities
During the day of 15th August there are many religious festivities: at 10am the floral offering takes place in calle Paloma, followed by a special mass in the Church at 1pm, and at 2.15pm the firemen of Madrid march down the street with the painting of the Virgen de La Paloma.
|The painting is decorated especially|
for the 15th August procession.
The main procession takes place on the evening of 15th August, and you can see it from most of the streets in La Latina. The procession starts around 8pm, in calle Toledo, and finishes calle Paloma, ending up back in the Church. The procession is accompanied by a symphony orchestra. Following the procession there will be fireworks and other celebrations.
Music, dance and other festivities
Many Madrileños dress up in traditional period clothes called chulapo suits, and dance the chotis through the streets. There is a competition every year for the best decorated street, façade, balcony and urban ensemble. The festivities are suitable for all ages: every year there are traditional games, races, marching bands and people selling popular food and drink such as hot chocolate, sangria and churros.
|The 15th August celebrations |
continue all through
the night, Madrid style!
August is an incredible time to be in Madrid, particularly thanks to this amazing festival. Make the most of it, enjoy the celebrations, and experience some true Spanish culture!