Have you ever been to the La Paloma Festival in Madrid? We encourage you to experience it this August. We also invite you to continue reading this post, as we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this festival. At LOCK & enjoy! we provide you with lockers in Madrid so that you can store everything you need during your visit. Enjoy La Paloma Festival with At LOCK & Enjoy!
La Paloma Festival, pure Madrid history and tradition
The roots of this Madrid festival date back to the 19th century. 1894 saw the premiere of an opera entitled La Verbena de la Paloma at the city’s Apollo Theatre. It was so famous that it was later adapted into numerous films.
This festival, which is celebrated in homage to the Virgin of Paloma, has also received significant recognition at the municipal level, as there are streets and avenues named after it. If you want to make the most of this festival, don’t worry about leaving your suitcases in Madrid. At LOCK & enjoy! we offer 24/7 lockers.
What is the festival like?
This festival, also known simply as La Paloma, is celebrated every year (14th and 15th August) in many places in Madrid, including Puerta de Toledo, Plaza de la Cebada and Puerta de Moros.
The atmosphere around the streets is very picturesque. People dress in chulapas or chulapos, one of Madrid’s most characteristic regional costumes. They also dance the chotis, a typical dance of the capital. What’s more, you can see a lot of celebrities on the streets of Madrid wearing the costume and dancing. The streets are decorated with colourful lanterns and the locals enjoy two days of fun.
The programme of activities for 2023 hasn’t been released yet. However, every year there are games, competitions for all ages, mus (card game) championships and a tapas route. There’s an extensive line-up of artists from all genres coming to perform at this festival in Madrid. Last year, for example, there were performances by Ana Torroja and by Nancys Rubias, the group led by Mario Vaquerizo.
This festival has a religious character, so on the 15th of August a procession is held starting at 8pm, as this is when the Virgin is taken out of the Church of La Paloma. She is enthroned on a float and a group of “costaleros” (float bearers) proceed through the streets of La Latina. Once the procession is over, the Virgin is returned to the church. At this time the faithful sing the Salve.
Before this, well-attended masses are held starting at 7am. After the Solemn Mass, the local firefighters bring down the painting of the Virgin of Paloma at around 2pm. Before the procession, a floral offering in homage to the Virgin takes place. From that time until 8pm she is prepared to be venerated by her devotees.
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For a lot of visitors, the evening is the best part of the La Paloma Festival, as, as well as giving a special character to the festivities, it’s not quite so hot. Also, during the two days this celebration lasts for, some of the capital’s typical recipes and dishes are prepared:
- Pavements, gardens and parks are transformed into spots for lovers of grilled food, more specifically bacon and chorizo.
- The vast majority of the bars and restaurants offer raciones (small portions) and succulent dishes served with beer.
- Gallinejas (fried lamb tripe) or entresijos (the mesentery of the lamb) are some of the most common dishes.
- As for desserts, there are always sweet wafer tubes and chocolate churros, especially late at night.
If you prefer to go out and have a drink, all the bars serve out on the street so you can cool off and dance to the rhythm of the street music.
Along with San Isidro, this is one of the most popular festivals in Madrid. Undoubtedly, the combination of the traditional and the modern attracts a large number of tourists from Spain and around the world.
Do you need to store your luggage in Madrid so you can enjoy the La Paloma Festival without any worries? At LOCK & enjoy! we have lockers available in all sizes so that you can leave anything from small bags to larger suitcases. Nevertheless, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through the channels shown on our website.