Festival of the Vaquilla

Festivity of National Tourist Interest

Colmenar Viejo


Every year, Colmenar Viejo, in the Madrid region, celebrates this colourful festival which commemorates the cattle migration tradition of old.

The event recreates the driving of the cattle (“vaquillas”) through the streets of the town, but in a uniquely distinctive way. The animals are not real, but artificial, and are created out of structures decorated with coloured silk ribbons, silk shawls and horns which are displayed with great gusto by all the participating groups as they perform a range of dances through the streets. The destination is the town square, where each group makes their calf dance, and simulates charges to display the finery of the decorations to best effect. Then each young calf is returned to where it came from, and its death is symbolised with three shots fired into the air. Limonada (a typical drink of red wine and soda water) is then handed out to all the participants to round off the festivities and to represent the blood of the slaughtered animal.

Festival of the Vaquilla

Colmenar Viejo, Madrid  (Madrid Region)