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Summer is here and the outdoor parties are here, the most popular are the open-air parties we are going to talk about at this entrance, at Interigual we love this word and the way it is celebrated.

What’s a Verbena?

A ‘verbena’ is a popular festival with dancing that is celebrated outdoors at night to celebrate a festivity on the 23rd of June, the eve of San Juan, one of the most famous.

The etymological origin of the term comes from the Latin “verbēna” and this was the name given to a herbaceous plant that has been widely used since ancient times thanks to its curative virtues.

It was a plant with which countless remedies were prepared to cure countless ailments and was commonly used in numerous rituals and offerings to the gods.

From the 4th century onwards, the decadence of the Roman Empire led the Catholic Church to take control of most such pagan celebrations, canceling them out and turning them into religious festivals, including the’summer solstice’ which became the festivities of St John’ on 23 June.

The use of the verbena plant was extended to be used in all kinds of ceremonies, most of the esoteric in nature, which was held in the early hours of the morning and lasted until dawn.

In the Middle Ages, the night rituals performed with the verbena plant became even more popular and the nightly ritual of Saint John was used to perform them by the sea under the moonlight, making purification acts with which to attract love or make women pregnant.

It was from the 19th century onwards that the plan of the verbena was related to all those events held from dusk to dawn, and these popular festivals became known as verbenas.

Spain is a country of traditions. To preserve our practices and our culture is in some way to preserve our personality. The night parties are held every summer in the village squares. No one can resist “throwing a few dances” on them. No matter how old you are, everyone takes part in the night parties. Double steps, couplets and sevillanas first thing in the morning for the older ones. Pop and rock as the night progress, for young people who enjoy, in the company of their friends, good music and space to dance to whatever their bodies can stand.

One of the best known is the Verbena de la Paloma de Madrid. Every August 15, the La Latina neighborhood adorns its streets and watches as the people of Madrid take off their wardrobes the traditional costume of the community to pay homage to the Virgin. The chulapos and chulapas visit the most emblematic places of this area of the capital to commemorate the festivity of the Dove once again.

At Interigual we advise you to study Spanish all year round so that you can enjoy the night parties and practice your Spanish there.


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