Sunday, May 21, 2017

Feria 2017

After Easter, here in Andalucia -- the feria season starts and it is just plain amazing.  We experienced our first feria last year and it was so much fun, I couldn't wait to experience it again this year.  Last year we had only been in Spain for about 3 months, so everything was still so new -- but I felt like we all realized what an amazing place it is to live after experiencing feria.

So, first things first -- a little refresher on what is feria (and also read more about it all here).  Technically, it translates to fair.  And our town does a Feria de Primavera which translates to spring fair.  But this is no ordinary fair like you picture in the states.  There are casetas (large tents specifically for eating, drinking and dancing), carnival rides, parade of horses and carriage rides and most importantly -- the clothing!  Majority of the women wear feria dresses (flamenco dress or traje gitana) and men are dressed to the nines in gorgeous suits (and many men wear hats).  Each town in Andalucia has a fair and everyone in the town goes to their own fair and many go to others in neighboring towns as well.  It is very much a go, walk around and be seen event.  Eat, drink (rebujitos -- sherry and sprite -- and it is the only time these drinks are served and they are amazingly delicious) and have a good time.  

I didn't really touch too much on the dresses last year so I want to explain them -- it is quite a sight to see almost every single woman (old, young, any age) in these gorgeous dresses.  First, almost every dress is the same style (similar to mermaid style with massive amounts of ruffles at the bottom) but the fabric and colors are all different, making it seem as if you see many different kinds of dresses -- most common patterns are floral or polka dots.  Most women wear a long dress, but tops/skirts and shorter dresses are becoming more popular -- same with sleeveless dresses, traditional feria dresses have 3/4 or long sleeves (all with large ruffles at the end, of course).  And the dresses are skin tight!  I had mine altered and kept asking my Spanish seamstress to loosen it just a little ("I have a toddler" I kept trying to tell her) -- but nope, it had to be skin tight! (I actually had a friend loosen it just a tad so I could at least sit down!).  The dresses are specifically made to be altered as well, with inches and inches of extra fabric in various places.  And while they are skin tight, they look good on everyone.  But the dress is not complete without the accessories -- huge earrings and a huge flower placed right on top of your head.  Some women wear shawls or also add a decorative comb in their hair.  The BEST part about the dresses is that ALL of them have pockets built into them, tucked under all the ruffles -- so no one carries a purse.  And Serafina's dress even had a pocket!  It is genius and I have decided that all fancy dresses need pockets built into them!
Trevor's coworkers (Spanish and American) have a big lunch event the first day of feria in Rota -- everyone gets dressed up, we have lunch and watch a flamenco show in one of the casetas.  It was so much fun last year and this year was even better!  I knew people this time around so it was a lot of fun drinking, eating and hanging out with our friends -- while letting the kids run wild and no one said anything!  It is an ALL afternoon/evening event so once our lunch was over we just continued the party outside the caseta and moved on to another one -- eating and drinking more!

Because we are now a part of the Rota community, both the base and town, we saw so many people we knew and it just made everything that much more fun!  We saw families from our swim class, we ran into Serafina's classmates and their families, we saw neighbors and more -- it was so much fun basically being a part of a very large street party!

But then our poor sweet Peanut got sick -- like insanely sick, walking pneumonia sick.  So we didn't really get to spend the weekend as we had originally planned.  Trevor and I both took turns going out with friends, and we were able to take my mom out to enjoy feria the last afternoon (she also got super sick but right before feria).... 
at least my mom got to enjoy a rebujito
But we really wanted our Peanut to experience the rides and see the horse parade, so this past weekend for Mother's Day we went to the feria in Jerez (a larger neighboring city) with another family.  It was INSANE!  We knew it would be large but it was HUGE -- easily five times the size of our town's feria.  They even had a map of all the casetas and it was needed!  Jerez celebrates horses for their feria and the horse parade was just something else -- gorgeously decorated horses and carriages parading up and down the main streets of the fair grounds.  Serafina loves horses and thought it was the best thing ever to just sit and watch them -- she would've stayed there forever if we let her!  But we moved on to the rides and OH MAN -- girlfriend is a dare devil in the making!  She went on her first mini roller coaster and had the biggest grin on her face the whole time.  My friend and I went on a crazy upside down, super high and scary ride and Serafina wanted on so so badly -- she kept trying to run up in line saying "go on big ride pease" -- it was adorable but also a little frightening that she seems to have no fear!

the ride the Peanut wanted to go on (and is still talking about)

So far we have enjoyed our feria season and hopefully we can attend a few more before season is over.....

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