Verdiales dancers taking part in the competition. / SALVADOR SALAS

Verdiales dancers taking part in the competition. / SALVADOR SALAS

Ancient folk music and dance tradition returns to Malaga

The city's famous Verdiales festival marked its 60th anniversary this week, and a full return to normality after being hit by the Covid pandemic

JUAN SOTO MALAGA.

The annual Christmas festival of Malaga's distinctive Verdiales folk music and dance took place in the city suburb of Puerto de La Torre on Wednesday this week.

Verdiales is an ancient, rural music and dance tradition originating in the mountains surrounding Malaga and in the Axarquía. It is still practised competitively today.

This year's party was even brighter than usual for various reasons: in addition to celebrating its 60th anniversary, it marked a full return to normality after Covid. Although the event was held last year, the party was not complete since there was still some fear and all the participants had to wear a face mask.

The festival started at 12 noon and lasted all afternoon. A total of 25 'pandas' (groups) participated: seven of the Comares style, eleven of the Montes style and seven of the Almogía style. During the meeting, around 6,750 euros in prizes were distributed in different categories.

The festive day was also special because signatures were being collected for Francisco Romero Díaz 'Paco Maroto' to be named an adoptive son of Malaga. Paco died in August this year at the age of 90 and was one of the key promoters of the Verdiales celebration.

"He wanted to be buried with his violin," said those who knew him.

His daughter, Marivi Romero said, "He was loved by everyone; since he was a little boy he sang, played and worked with the verdiales federation and with all the local schools."