The Verdial is a manifestation of popular Malaga tradition, of country tradition that goes back centuries but for which it is difficult to establish its origins due to the lack of written documents and historical references. Some authors, including José María Caballero Bonald, argue that the Verdial contains traces of archaic and Moorish roots.
The VERDIAL comprises a song, music and dance that are apparently prior to Flamenco itself. The differences with the latter, on one hand, can be found in the numerous accompaniments of string and percussion instruments (violin, lute, guitar, cymbals and tambourine), which denote an Arab influence, whilst Flamenco songs are accompanied only by guitars and clapping. On the other hand, the Verdial is a song composed for dance, and the art of the singer (whose voice is often drowned out by the wealth of musical accompaniment), is secondary to the dance.
Having talked about the song, music and dance of the Veridales as a pre-Flamenco tradition, the “Fiesta” or “Verdiales Fiesta”, as a collective manifestation of village tradition, dates back to pre-Roman times, as indicated by author Julio Caro Baroja, in “The Carnival”, and demonstrated by the fact that the most important celebrations coincide with the Winter Solstice (Grand Verdiales Fiesta) or the Summer Solstice (The Night of San Juan).
The dress of the Verdiales group (Panda) is the typical dress of country folk, and this only varies in the Grand Verdiales Fiesta on the Day of the Innocents (28th December), when a straw hat is included, covered with decorations: mirrors, flowers, ribbons, beads… which indicate the ancestral origin of the Verdiales Fiesta, apart from coinciding with these same uses found in other Mediterranean cultures, such as the Greek.
The Verdial makes up a cultural manifestation of the first order, originating in Malaga and which includes in its legacy (transmitted from father to son), all that is magical, primitive, pagan and religious, happy and spiritual in a Mediterranean and European culture.