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Madrid celebrates three traditional festivals in August that bring together people who decide to stay in the city despite the heat wave. Photo: Cesar Lucas Abreu © Madrid Destino.
Madrid celebrates three traditional festivals in August that bring together people who stay in the city despite the heat wave. Photo: Cesar Lucas Abreu © Madrid Destino.

The Madrid’s verbenas in August

Many people from Madrid go on holiday in August. Others stay in the city to enjoy traditional festivals.

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August is synonymous with Summer vacations in Spain. During this month, people usually go to the beach or the mountains.

With all the trips, especially towards the east coast of the Peninsula, big cities like Madrid live quiet days, far from the dizziness typical of the rest of the year. But it is very hot and temperatures often exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Those who prefer to stay in Madrid enjoy various cultural activities typical of the month of August; such as the festivals of San Cayetano (from Aug. 4 to 7), San Lorenzo (from Aug. 10 to 12) and La Paloma (from Aug. 13 to 15).

The three festivals take place in the streets of very traditional neighborhoods in the city center that are very close to one another: Lavapiés, and La Latina. These neighborhoods are characterized by having 19th century residential buildings, and short, messy, colorful, and very charming streets.

At this time, the neighbors decorate their balconies with manila shawls, paper garlands and flowers.

All of them participate in a decoration contest, and the winners of the most original and traditional balconies can win between 150, 300 and 500 euros.

Activities for all ages

The agenda of activities for these three festivals in Madrid includes plays, concerts, traditional games, and sports competitions, such as a petanque tournament. This sport consists of throwing metallic balls near another small wooden ball in an act known as bowling.

There will also be a chotis contest, a traditional Madrid dance, which is performed in pairs and is very typical at parties like these and San Isidro, celebrated in May.

In addition to the open-air parties, which invite people to taste the delicacies of the local food scene, the churches in the area celebrate processions and solemn masses in honor of the saints. 

The festivals are being held after two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will end on Monday, Aug. 15.

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