La Paloma


The Virgen de la Paloma (La Paloma) Festival is one of the most traditional and well – known celebrations in Madrid. Its history dates back to the eighteenth century, when some children found its picture in a corral. They sold the picture to a Madrilenian named Isabel Tintero, who first used it to display at her door. Her neighbors who came in search of cure and protection where captivated by the image in the painting that made the Virgin so famous. In 1912, the picture of La Paloma Virgin was moved to the new chapel (which was made for her) that is situated on a street with her same name. Between 1891 and 1911, the San Pedro el Real de la Paloma parish was build to cater the larger devotees who continued to come to seek for cure and protection.

In Madrid, this festival is celebrated annually from the sixth to fifteenth day of August and which is mainly held across the Plaza de las Vistillas. Although the festival originally begins on the eleventh day of August with the fifteenth as the climax, Madrileños’ love for good entertainment stretched the occasion. During the duration of the festival, many activities are made available like free live concerts, shows presentation traditional dances and costumes and many more. Even the streets are adorned with color lamps just for the occasion. Furthermore, on the fifteenth, the city’s firemen parades around the city while carrying a picture of La Paloma on their shoulders. The picture is placed in a platform adored with carnations. While the Madrileños dressed up in their traditional Chulapos and Chulapas costumes. Everybody is invited to watch and experience street parties, street dances were the Madrileños dances their traditional dance known as the chotis (to the rhythm of Agustin Lara and his song dedicated to this city), processions, firework show in the evening and other fun celebrations held across Plaza de las Vistillas and other parts of the city.

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