To be honest, I hadn’t known anything about Malaga before more than that there are a lot of flights there (yes, I deserve to be called ignorant in this place). So, as a colleague told me that the Feria is starting tomorrow, I’ve thought it would be like one of these rather small feasts that nobody cares about.
How wrong was I!
La Feria happens to be one of the most important times of the year when the city is flooded with people. It dates back as early as 1491 when it was decided to commemorate the entry of the Catholic Kings to Malaga a few years earlier – on the 19th of August 1487. That’s when Malaga was incorporated into the Crown of Castile.
It starts with fireworks and a concert on the Malagueta beach on a Friday night; after that is the time of partying until you drop.
So I arrived in the city. I didn’t really know where to go, I had never been here before, so I just followed the masses. And what did I see? People playing instruments, singing, dancing flamenco in the streets, women dressed up in the flamenca dresses (how gorgeous!) or at least with some flowers in their hair, people cooling themselves with fans and everybody drinking. What really amused me were the little glasses you could buy at the stands e.g. on the Larios street, the main shopping street Malagas. They had strings and you can carry them on your neck, so that you can enjoy the party with free hands!
Yes, they were in offer, but the vast majority of drinking people was satisfied with their pink plastic cups they got as they bought their Cartojal. Cartojal is a sweet, pretty strong wine that is so popular that you could name the whole party La Feria del Cartojal and pink is the main colour you see. Pink cups, pink bottles, pink trash bins, pink posters, pink barrels, pink flags, even some people wear pink T-shirts with the name of this drink. It is sold mainly during the Feria; some Malagueños told me you can’t buy it during the year, however I did find some shops that were selling it afterwards… Probably, as it’s only associated with the Feria, they aren’t looking for it other times. Or in the after-feria time they sell the bottles they haven’t sold during the feria and in like June there are no bottles left.
Oh, there is even a song. Yes, people listen to it. And sing it.
You shouldn’t miss Calle Larios – the main pedestrian zone in the centre that is as well the centre of action. Bands playing, people dancing, a lot of bachelor parties (look out for the unusual looking people; flamenco dresses are apparently not only for ladies), happiness everywhere. It continues through the Plaza de la Constitución to Calle Granada and is an absolute must-see; or better, a must-experience.
Plaza de la Constitución is a place I got to know after the Feria however I´ve been there a couple of times. It was just so filled with stands with food and drinks and therefore eating and drinking people, that you couldn’t really see what kind of place it could be during the year. There was as well a place to dance salsa what made me extra happy.
Another part of the party are the charangas – brass bands playing on the street. Thanks to them you can have fun in the middle of the day, anywhere you meet them: sing hits like “Alcohool, alcohool, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol”, dance and enjoy the drink you’re probably holding in your hand.
If for some reason you haven’t found any, don’t worry – there are tents near the sea that are there only for that time of the year and are pretty much the tents of party. If you don’t like them so much, you can find some fiesta in the pubs. How surprised I was to see an almost full pub at around 8 pm with the sun still being up!
Feria is not only during the day. Of course. At night the clubs open, however a lot of people go to “the other Feria” – Feria del Real. It’s a big fairground with a lot of stands with anything and amusement-park-like attractions. There are as well places with music where you can dance and dance and dance…
I have to admit I haven’t gone there, so I have to come back to see it and update this post, right?
I think so.