Feria Time of Year
It’s that time of year (again)?! The Nerja Feria is in full swing again—always early-mid October. I’m both excited and surprised to be celebrating my one-year anniversary in Nerja. I never imagined that I would stay another year here but there is something special and magical about this place that is holding me here. I remember arriving a year ago with a big backpack and an overweight suitcase fumbling around trying to “figure out” how to be a human in Spain… My Spanish could barely go beyond ordering a coffee, let alone setting up a bank account, starting a new job and finding an apartment… I’m happy to say that I have come a long way: I can now curse in Spanish and get free tapas! You know, the important things, right? Back to Feria… I remember my first week in Nerja vividly mainly because the town had been overtaken by the annual Feria—plastering the town with SPAIN. Here, you could find big white tents full of people singing and dancing along to live flamenco music, horse drawn carriages carrying Mr. and Ms. Nerja, and all ages of people completely dressed up in traditional feria attire!
I remember being absolutely enchanted by Feria and also surprised at how different it was than the fair we have back home. American fairs usually involve things like deep fried twinkies, twangy country music and pig races! Now, I love all these things, but Spain feria has a bit more flair to it. Nearly every town or city in Andalucia celebrates feria annually—obviously ranging in size depending on the place! Most ferias happen late spring-early autumn and last about 5 days. There is always a feria program showing the calendar of events, but they are all quite similar in organization: they usually begin with a firework show near the town hall or main plaza, each day there is some kind of concert in the main tent or square, kids attractions and shows by day, rides and food by night! As like many Spanish celebrations, most ferias also celebrate the town or city’s local saint by parading the saint statue or trono around the center. Many ferias also have fair royalty selected by the city and people and bull fighting and horse riding events. Another important characteristic of feria is the white tents, or casetas. Each tent has a bar and stage and vary in style—ranging in flamenco music, rock to top hits—some free to enter, some have fees and others invite only depending on the feria. The tents are a really fun way to enjoy feria, especially by night, where they come to life with great music and dancing.
<a href="http://www.smartholidaysandalusia la viagra.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_4006-e1444680521601.jpg”>I don’t consider myself a crazy party girl by any means, but I do really enjoy a good party. I’ve enjoyed Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Oktoberfest (albeit in Argentina!), Carnival in Cadiz, and a full moon party in Thailand, but feria has certainly grabbed my attention. So much so that this year I visited feria in Granada, Frigiliana, Nerja AND Malaga! From those four, I was able to see small town feria and big city feria and the common elements. At these Andalusian ferias you won’t see many animals besides the bulls in the rings and dressed up flamenco horses in the streets and churros will replace American funnel cake, but the common theme is certainly an amazing display of community pride and culture.
I think one of my favorite parts of all the ferias I attended this year was seeing the people put on their flamenco attire enjoying the party in style. I loved seeing the extravagant dresses and cowboy outfits. These outfits can be traced back to feria roots—the origin comes from cattle selling events. The women would wear flashy, form-fitting dresses to help get more attention and ultimately increase sales of their farm’s cattle. This same flamenco dress style is still widely popular—polka dots, frills and curve hugging dresses can be seen on women young and old at feria… and even some dogs! The men still wear typical cowboy outfits and even dress up their horses’ halters to give them a little flair. While feria has certainly evolved, its roots are still extremely visible and exciting to see.
So, cheers to one more Nerja feria in the books and one whole year Spainniversary—now I just need to plan which feria’s I will attend next spring and summer! And is it time already that I buy myself a Flamenco dress or what?!