La Verbena de la Paloma chotis

La Paloma Festivity and the Chotis

La Paloma Festivity is one of the most genuine festivities in Madrid and during it Madrileños dance its most classic dance: the “Chotis”.

Let´s continue with Madrid culture! We do not stop talking about Madrid, traditions and identity and this time it´s time for the… La Paloma Festivity!

We continue through the traditional Virgen de la Paloma and its verbena (open air dance) celebrated every August 15 in the La Latina neighbourhood. The cult of these traditional virgin has its origin in 1791 when according to the archives of the mayor of the city back in that period José Antonio de Armona y Murga, Duke of the Casa García Postigo, a neighbour found some children playing with a portrait that represented Our Lady of Solitude, who bought it for some coins to the lads to keep it away from those not proper acts for the representation.

La Paloma raredo
La Paloma Raredo

From that moment, the person who bought the painting to the kids, a woman called Isabel Tintero, started to profess to the virgin a big veneration, a veneration that extended easily around that part of Madrid. because of this, she decided to provide to the painting it owns a small altar at the hall of her house. So this is how the tradition and veneration for this virgin started in the city.

Because of these, the hall where she was venerated became too small in a few months, so all the neighbour asked for a temple for the virgin to be built. This request due to the great support she obtained from all the neighbours and the district in the area grew, and the church that would house the image was built on the Paloma street. So again, one of the symbols of the traditional character doesn´t became from longer than a couple of centuries.

La Paloma Church
La Paloma Church

And if we keep talking and learning more further celebrations and the Madrid´s traditions that nowadays you can find throughout the year in the city, we need to talk about the dance per excellence that you can always find in the most traditional verbenas like for example the “La verbena de la Paloma”, La Paloma Festivity. This dance is known as Chotis dance .

It is at the end of the 19th century when the popular dance brought from Germany to the Court of Isabel II appeared. It was played for the first time in Madrid in 1850 in one of the dances organized in the queen’s court under the name of Schottisch (Scottish) presented as a German polka and as the sensation of the moment as far as dance is concerned in the courts from the centre of the European continent. It soon spread through the capital, becoming especially famous among the popular status people.

The characteristic of Madrid´s chotis is that they dance to the sound of a small organ, which was introduced by the Italian Luis Apruzzese, a pioneer in playing the chotis as it is known today.

La Paloma festivity Chotis
Madrileños dancing chotis during La Paloma Festivity

If you dare to spend the summer in the capital of Spain, do not hesitate to spend the hot nights going from one verbena to another verbena to test your chulapa or chulapo skills by dancing a chotis following the sound of a small organ! La Paloma Festivity is a must!

And if you want to continue knowing more about the history of Madrid … every morning and afternoon from Monday to Saturday we wait for you in the Puerta del Sol square in our Free Tour Madrid with the blue-blue umbrellas and arms wide open !