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Verdiales Festival in Málaga

On the 30th of November, St Andrew´s Day, the sementera begins in Málaga, also known as the season of planting. This is the reason why this day is traditionally associated in the symbolical way with the land´s fertilizing power and with the female archetype identified with mother earth. In a significative way, in this time of year, most people prepare for the Verdiales Festival. Groups of friends, different associations, the representatives of the Málaga City Council and other people linked in one way or another with the event, will start on the preparations that´s celebrated every 28th of December. Also, they fixate the different dates of the annual Verdiales calendar, a powerful cultural phenomenon of deep anthropological roots and varied cultural and artistic expressions that range from music to gastronomy.


As we mentioned before, all of this fascinating and peculiar festival calendar revolves around the main date of the 28th of December, the Verdiales Festival day, which usually takes place on Venta de San Cayetano of Puerto de la Torre, where all the groups (singers, musicians and dancers) dressed in  folkloric dresses, face each other in unique musical combats called piques, the winner of which is the one that manages to make their opponent lose their rhythm. The day is long and festival and the spectators that attend such singular competition receive as compensation the chance to ssample a wide selection of exquisite local food and wine that contribute to create an atmosphere that will hardly be forgotten, dominated deeply by the most enjoyable and lively baroque epiphany of a solar economy of sacrificial nature based on wastefulness and extravagance that allows for a new germination of the world.

The coincidence with the onomastic of the Spanish day of ´April fools´, los Santos Inocentes, means that the event is known as the Fiesta de los Tontos, the festival of the fools, which has a medieval echo that reminisces of those times where the world was briefly turned upside down and people let go, purified themselves or had a catharsis that allowed them to start a new cycle with renovated impulse. There´s also the option of carrying on enduring the world, a circumstance that goes well with the proximity of the new year as well as with the apocalyptic character of recent times, Mayan prophecy included of course.

However, the symbolical wealth of this astounding cultural expression would only need the musical aspect in itself to turn the festival into something fascinating. Unsurprisingly, the music there is of ternary rhythm and is even older than flamenco. It´s known as Verdiales due to the name of the area where it was born, and it´s the most danceable fandango of the region of Málaga.