The colour, passion, music, culture and gastronomy of Spain all fuse together in spectacular fashion at feria time. Just about every village, town and city holds its own feria (fair) and each one has a unique flavour influenced by local traditions.
Most take place between April and October, and the time is fast approaching for arguably the biggest and most colourful feria on the Andalusian calendar, that of Málaga, although the inhabitants of Sevilla, which has a strong rivalry with the capital of the Costa del Sol, may have something to say about that.
The week-long event starts tomorrow the 11th of August and runs through till Sunday the 19th of August. But, this evening Friday the 10th at 00.00 hrs, the official opening takes place with an impressive firework display at the Malagueta playa. “Piromusical” (pyrotechnic-musical show) will take about 13 full minutes and will be accompanied by the following music: Kill Bill – Battle without honor or humanity, Beauty and the Beast, Adele – Rolling in the deep, The Calling – Wherever you will go, The Royal Concept – On your way, Thomas Bergersen – To Glory
Then from tomorrow, during the day, the celebrations take place in Málaga’s historic centre, which is festively decorated with colourful paper lanterns and flags. The streets are full of lively tourists and locals alike, with a huge array of events and attractions lined up, including stilt walkers, flamenco and sevillana dancers plus plenty of children’s entertainment.
The whole city stops to party as seemingly everyone makes an effort to be part of this special occasion. Women and children can be seen dressed in beautiful flamenco outfits, the horse drawn taxis are decorated with ribbons and the drivers wear traditional costumes. One aspect that makes Málaga stand out is its Verdiales singers, who practice a particular style of singing dressed in costumes featuring spectacular flower bedecked hats.
In the evening the celebrations move to the Real de la Feria (feria ground) on the outskirts of the city, near the Palacio de Congresos congress centre. Here hundreds of marquees and ‘casetas’ (literally little houses, in reality bars) are filled with dancers and singers, not just putting on a show, but having the time of their lives.
When the Spanish have fun they don’t hold back, and the party spirit is so infectious virtually everyone joins in. Tapas areas and open bars serving everything from mojitos to sherry until the small hours make it a fun place to spend the night partying in style while mixing with the locals.
The feria provides a great experience that allows you to participate in some of the area’s historical events whilst exploring this delightful city with its impressive architecture.
Málaga is just a short drive from the main towns on the Costa del Sol, including Elviria and Marbella, making it the perfect day trip destination for all the family. Alternative transport links are excellent, with buses leaving regularly from Marbella bus station and trains departing every half hour from Fuengirola. Whichever way you get there, it is an experience to remember.