Category Archives: August Fair

Fiestas, Ferias and Festivals of Andalucia

Andalucía is justly famous for its fiestas (a word that means both party and holiday), which cover the full range from the solemn (often passionately so), to the riotous and celebratory, especially in spring. So, if you’re planning a holiday in the South of Spain this year, and are thinking of experiencing one of the traditional fairs or some religious processions, now’s the time to be getting out your diaries and making a note of the dates.

The first fiesta of the year (after the Magic Kings on January 5) is definitely the party kind. The Cadiz Carnival, which this year takes place from February 27 to March 9, is the largest on mainland Spain, a ten-day spree of processions, concerts, children’s shows, street theatre and the like, many of them with a satirical edge, the highlight being a singing competition for satirical and humorous songs. Oh, and there’s lots of eating and drinking, too.

semana santa 2012the Macarena procession in Seville

In April it’s the turn of Spain’s biggest religious festival, Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week), which this year is from April 13-20. There will be processions in every city, but the biggest and best (and the most) are in Seville. The atmosphere, with the distinctive brass band music, the elaborate floats, the hooded penitents and all the little rituals, is absolutely unique, but if you’re coming to Seville to see it bear in mind that hotels and apartments can double in price and fill up quickly.

Other religious festivals include Corpus Christi (June 19) and the El Rocio pilgrimage (June 4-9). It’s worth being in town for the departure of the pilgrims in their wild-west style covered wagons drawn by oxen.

rociothe Seville brotherhood leaving for El Rocio

In the meantime it’s the turn of the traditional spring fairs. The biggest is Seville’s April Fair (which this year, because Easter falls so late, is actually in May, from the 5th to the 11th), which is immediately followed by the Jerez Fair (May 11 to 18), and a little later by the Cordoba Fair (May 24 to 31). Both of these are easily reached by train or car from Seville. Typical of all the fairs are the little marquees, or casetas, where people gather to eat and drink rebujitos, the traditional sherry and 7-Up cocktails, horses and carriages, and fairground rides and fast food stalls. They also coincide with the local bullfighting season too. The Seville casetas are mostly private, so if you don’t know anyone who is a member of one the Jerez and Cordoba fairs will be more fun and friendlier. The Malaga Fair is a bit later, running from August 16-25, and has more daytime activities away from the Fairground itself, including a re-enactment of the fall of Moorish Malaga to the Christians.

cordoba patiosthe Patios of Cordoba

Two other festivals that are worth seeing are the Patio Festival, or Festival of the Flowers, in Cordoba (May 8-19), which takes the form of a competition for the best patios and balconies in the city, and the city is full of the colours and scents of the spring flowers, and the Fiesta del Carmen in Malaga on July 16, which celebrates the patron saint of fishermen with an unusual water-borne procession.

Veoapartment has holiday rental apartments in both Seville and Malaga, that make a perfect base for experiencing these fabulous Andalusian festivals. For a complete listing of upcoming events in 2014 check out our city information pages for: Seville and Malaga.

Málaga | Feria de Agosto (August Fair)

Beginning tomorrow night in Málaga is the annual extravaganza of the August Fair, and the city will be full of locals and visitors enjoying a full programme of events in both the Feria del Día (the daytime fair in the city centre) and the Feria de la Noche (the night fair) at the main fairground in Cortijo de Torres in the west of the city, as well as the nightly bullfights in the Plaza de Toros.

The fair kicks off at midnight on Friday August 16 with a firework display followed by a concert on Malagueta Beach and lasts officially until midnight on Saturday August 24, with a recreation of the entry of the Catholic kings into the city (the fair was instituted as a celebration of the surrender of the Moorish city to the Christians in August of 1487 following a four-month siege) at the Plaza de Toros on the Sunday evening.

malaga feria del dia

For lovers of horses and carriages there will be all the parades so typical of Spanish fairs, both in the city centre during the day and at the fairground by night, as well as lots of eating and drinking in the casetas, but the Málaga Feria is particularly notable for its daytime events, and for a whole week the streets of the historic centre will be alive with the hustle and bustle of the crowds, biznaga sellers, street theatre, concerts, an artesan market in the Plaza Merced and lots of special exhibitions in the museums. For the children there’s the “Magic Pirate Fair” every afternoon by the Roman Theatre with games, storytelling and magicians.

The August Fair is a great time to be in Málaga. So if you live locally, already have a holiday planned on the Costa del Sol, or are still “just thinking about it”, get over there and join the party.