Routes of the Fairs in Andalucia


Although paradoxically started by a Basque and a Catalonian in 1847, the Feria de Abril of Seville, which was inspired by stock trading fairs, has decidely encompassed the Andalusian indiosyncrasies. The Feria of Seville is celebrated on the last days of April, approximately two weeks after Easter Sunday. It stills preserves its characteristic country heritage with the presence of horses and carriages.

The fairgrounds, which is called El Real, is compreised of hundred of casetas (houses) which line the dusty streets adorned with lights and paper laterns. They are constructed with wood and canvas and decorated with shawls and flowers. They have a wooden floor for dancing sevillanas and long counters of eating, drinking, and generously entertaining friends.

A few days later Jerez de la Frontera (Sherry, in Cadiz) hosts the Feria del Caballo (Horse Fair) where one can see the best horses from the region. The Feria de la Manzanilla is held in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cadiz) during the last days of May. It is also an important month in Cordova which celebrates the traditional Cruces de Mayo, and patio garden contests as well as the Feria de Mayo. In general, this type of festivity can be found throughout the lower Andalusian region during the hot spring and summer seasons.

Other popular feast days are based on some event related to a figure venerated in the town, or its patron saint. One curious example is the Cascamorras which is held on 6th September between the town of Guadix and Baza in the province of Granada. The two towns contest the title to the Virgin of Piety. According to the legend, the figure of the Virgin was buried between the two towns during the Muslim conquest. To this day, the sculpture is venerated in the place where it was found by a mason from Guadix in 1490. The Cascamorras is a volunteer who tries to recover the figure for Baza. Another legend states that whoever the Virgin without a stain can take her away. thoughout his journey, the emissary is pushed and pelted with tar, eggs and tomatoes. Upon his return, his failure is punished with a similar treatment from the neighbours of Baza.

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