La Feria takes place in the Spring every year here in Sevilla. Rumored to be one of the biggest celebrations in all of Spain, Sevilla doesn’t disappoint during this week. Unfortunately for me, I missed the initial celebration where they light everything up and commence the partying, but I did get back at 7 am Sunday morning, the last day of Feria, and this is what I witnessed.
Decked out in my shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes I went to Feria with Naveen for a few hours in the afternoon, snapping pictures and whatnot. Feria takes place in a neighborhood called Los Remedios, which is across the river from where I live. In the weeks leading up to Feria, a gigantic entryway is constructed and “casetas” (tents) set up in rows in a big open space. Streamers are hung, lights put up, and everyone who has purchased a caseta gets ready to party.
The casetas are owned by families or businesses or the city hey even have on for the communist party) and they range in size depending on the event. The public tents, for those who don’t have a private one, are immense, fitting hundreds of people. The smaller private tents have guards or ushers at the door and small tables and private bars and food areas for the attendees. The tents are very expensive, depending on the food and drink available inside. I myself did not get to go in one because I was immensely underdressed, but a few friends did and from what I hear they can be very impressive.
The general clothing during Feria are dresses for women (see pictures) and tuxedos or traditional formalwear for men. Everyone gets dressed up, even the kids and they eat drink and even ride rollercoasters in these impressive pieces of clothing. Our fonetics teacher told us that a Feria dress is an article of clothing that changes with the fashion. Certain aspects remain the same, but every year they dresses are different depending on what’s “hot” that year. Men, as usual, probably throw on the same thing year after year (if it still fits).
The Feria lasts for an entire week. Drinking, dancing Sevillana, and eating are the things to do during this time. Few people work, even fewer stay sober. The traditional drink of Feria is called a “rebujito”, which is a mix of Manzanilla (alcohol similar to wine) and 7Up or Sprite. It is rumored to be very easy to get drunk off of. I still haven’t tried it.
The Feria is concluded with fireworks at midnight near Los Remedios. The fireworks show is spectacular, mainly becuase the Spanish do not enforce safe distances as strictly as they do in the U.S., so even though we were far back in the crowd, we were still very close to watch and hear every fantastic flash and boom.
The Feria concludes with a mixture of relief and sadness. By the end of the week I imagine the women feel like sausages in their tight dresses, and the men are probably tired of sweating in the hot sun. But the feeling is missed, and everyone returns to work anticipating next year’s festivities 🙂