August has arrived and amid the heat Madrid also welcomes its famous “verbenas”, or open-air festivities, three of which are being celebrated in some of the capitals historic neighbourhoods this month.
The fiestas kick off with the San Cayetano festival in the Rastro/Embajadores area, followed by San Lorenzo in Lavapiés, and ends with the biggest and most important of all, La Paloma in La Latina.
Chulapos (traditional Madrid dress), will be taking to the cobbled streets of old Madrid to drink, dance chotis and make merry till the early hours….wisely taking to them after dark to enjoy the (slightly) cooler air and long Spanish nights.
These celebrations have a strong community spirit and are an inseparable part of the true Madrid: a city that cherishes its traditional image as a party-loving, sociable community with only one mission – to have a good time. And of course, Madrid extends a very warm welcome to its many visitors who wish to enjoy the ambience and festivities
The fiesta of San Cayetano, which take place on 7 August in the area around Rastro and Embajadores, mark the start of the August celebrations. The streets and balconies are decorated with manila shawls, paper garlands and flowers in honour of the saint, with musical and cultural performances in Plaza de Cascorro, as well as masses celebrated in the church of San Cayetano.
The celebrations continue in the neighbourhood of Lavapiés with the San Lorenzo festival, which takes place on 10 August. Music, culture, and delicious food all come together to pay tribute to the saint who is also remembered in religious acts held in the little 17th century church dedicated to him.
The highlight and the most celebrated is the fiesta of the Virgen de la Paloma in the La Latina district and which starts on her feast day on the 15 August.
The area around the Plaza de la Paja to Calle de Toledo, Cava Baja, and Plaza de las Vistillas, will be packed as Madrileños and visitors alike enjoy their first full post pandemic street fiestas with a heady mix of zarzuela opereta, pasodoble competitions, chotis dancing with traditional manila shawls, live music, children’s shows, and lots of fine tapas washed down with thrist quenching wine and cañas!