Sunday, April 13, 2008

My First Feria

Only in Sevilla can you take part in Feria.
It is a festival that is celebrated at the beginning of Spring. It originated as a cattle fair where country farmers would come to the outskirts of Sevilla and sell horses and cattle. Today it is an excuse to dress up, dance, sing, and eat.

Schools are closed, buses are rerouted toward the Feria grounds, everything (including supermarkets and restaurants) closes at 3pm. Hotel and food prices rocket and you can't even find a bed in a hostel! Sevilla is packed with people from all over the world. This picture is of me standing in front of the Golden Arches, the entrance to Feria.

Feria looks much like a state fair. There are tents that line the perfectly Roman grid layout, the names of the streets are names of famous Matadors. However, The tents are personal tents owned by wealthy families who provide food (slices of ham most of the time) and Manzanilla (traditional Feria drink.. white wine with sprite). The families hire security guards (the man in the black suit) at the entrance so that only invited guests of the family may enter. (The little girl in the red dress is tired and laying her head on the table.)

The streets are packed with people wearing their traditional clothes. Women in flamenco dresses and men in suits (It is very formal). Walking down the street you can see the line of tent upon tent and hear the music of men and women singing while watching their children dance the flamenco.

The larger tents are public tents for the political parties. The communist party even had a beautiful tent!

Even the little ones were dressed traditionally. Most of the little girls wear matching dresses with their mothers (for every day of the week a different dress!)

Every fair has rides! The flamenco dresses don't get in the way of having fun, these girls are standing in line for The Viking ship. :D

Only in Spain would you see a Bull on the carousel!

I am about to get on the ride, The Booster. I don't know what is more scary, how high above the ground you are while flipping (tallest ride) or that this ride is built in Spain and it looks like it might fall apart! It was totally worth it though!

They left out the O... It's supposed to say Booster ha. This ride basically goes around in circles like a windmill and on the ends you and three other people are spinning!

Overall my first Feria experience was amazing!

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