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The Boloencierro of Mataelpino

The Boloencierro of Mataelpino
It celebrates: 24th August
Place: Boalo, El (Madrid)
Category: Tradition
Type: Rare
Popularity: (***) 3/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Boloencierro Association
Known start date: Since 2009
Reading time: 3 minutes and a half

We invite you to discover one of the most fun and exciting popular festivals in the mountains of Madrid, pure adrenaline! At the end of August the Boloencierro de Mataelpino takes place.

In a frenetic downhill race you can feel the energy of the moment and a lot of movement. This festivity is so peculiar that it attracts curious onlookers, media and new adventurers who want to take the risk to participate.

What does the Mataelpino Boloencierro consist of?

The Boloencierro de Mataelpino is a popular festival held annually in the municipality of Boalo-Cerceda-Mataelpino, located in the Sierra de Guadarrama (Madrid), whose main attraction is a large ball.

An epic race is held in two categories (children and adults), with runners being chased by a giant ball that rolls downhill by the force of gravity until it reaches the Plaza Mayor Mataelpino. The rest of the participants shout with enthusiasm: "The ball is coming!

Initially the ball was made of materials such as metal, resin and polystyrene, with a diameter of three metres.

Due to the risk of running in front of a ball of enormous dimensions and weight, together with some serious accidents that have occurred in the past, over the years, lighter materials have been used to reduce the weight of the ball from 200 kilos to 30 kilos.

The use of helmets is now compulsory as a priority safety measure.

There is also a children's boloencierro, made up of four small or smaller balls, which are handled by adults so that children can participate and enjoy this unusual running of the bulls festival without risk.

How is the Boloencierro festival celebrated?

The participants run in front of the giant ball
The participants run in front of the giant ball

Due to its great popularity, this festivity has been replicated in other towns. The celebration of the festivity takes place on the last weekend of August, in two categories: adults and children.

The great race begins with the explosion of a firecracker, indicating to the runners that the big ball will begin its descent, whose route culminates in the Plaza Mayor of Mataelpino.

Origins of the Mataelpino Boloencierro celebration

This peculiar popular tradition was created in 2009 by the Boloencierro Association, on the initiative of a group of residents of the town of Mataelpino.

Curiosities about the Boloencierro of Mataelpino

Find out some curious and interesting facts about the Boloencierro of Mataelpino:

  • Forbes Magazine chose this popular festival as one of the 10 most original European sporting events of 2020.
  • In this running of the bulls festival a ball is used as an animal protection initiative, avoiding the use of animals in popular festivities.
  • There is an Association of the Bolencierro, which organises this popular festival every year.

Recommendations for visitors

If you want to enjoy these festivities to the full, here are some recommendations and practical tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothes and footwear.
  • It is not advisable for children and teenagers to take part in the adult bolo.
  • Use public transport to get around the town.
  • All participants in the bolo race must wear a safety helmet.

What else can you see or do in the town if you go to Mataelpino?

Guadarrama Mountains, Madrid, Spain.
Guadarrama Mountains, Madrid, Spain.

Some places of tourist and cultural interest in El Boalo, Cerceda and Mataelpino are worth visiting:

  • Parque Regional de la Cuenta Alta de Manzanares: with a great ecological and patrimonial value of the municipality.
  • Las Villas Nature Route: this is a simple route ideal for hikers, which links the three villages of El Boalo, Cerceda and Mataelpino. You can visit and enjoy places such as the Puente de Madrid recreational area, the Ermita de San Isidro hermitage and border the slopes of the Sierra de los Porrones. The route ends at the viewpoint of La Ponzonilla, with spectacular views of the Parque Regional de la Cuenta Alta de Manzanares.
  • Santa Águeda Parish Church: with a modern construction from the second half of the 20th century.


Grilled meats are typical in Sierra de Guadarrama
Grilled meats are typical in Sierra de Guadarrama

Enjoy the best typical dishes of the gastronomy of the Sierra de Guadarrama:

  • Roasts and grilled meats: fresh meat from the Sierra de Guadarrama (especially veal, yearling and fattened beef, with Protected Geographical Indication).
  • Thistle omelette: using only the stalks of the thistle.
  • Corujas salad: these are tender shoots that are found in crystal clear waters in mountainous areas.
  • Revuelto de Lupios: they are known as asparagus or wild asparagus, sautéed with filleted garlic, ham, bacon, bacon and beaten egg.
  • Torrijas de bola: typical sweet made with loaf bread.
  • Puches: typical dessert made with almorta flour, aniseed, water, cinnamon and croutons.

Share videos, images and information about the Boloencierro de Mataelpino on social networks. Use the hashtags #Boloencierro #Mataelpino

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