A characteristic symbol of feria are ornamental gates, which represent the festive time and stand out in each town. The main essence of this celebration is a week of partying in a Spanish style, establishing all that Spain stands for and associates with in the world. It is such a traditional week, the only of its kind. It is what the north of Spain is jealous of Andalusia for. This very special time, takes you out of the day to day life and its responsibilities. Nobody worries about work or school, the city is empty. Everyone gathers in one place which can be seen and heard from a far distance due to the beautiful play of lights and intricately prepared colourful constructions put up specially for the occasion. This festive scenery gives feria a characteristic, unique look.
All around, one can find white, decorated tents (so called casetas) of inimitable names as for example criadores del caballos- the tent of the horse breeders. Inside, you can eat dishes like bull’s tail or paella, drink some beer, home-made wine or rebujito (local mojito). One can also dance! Water sprinklers cannot be missed, bringing breeze and refreshment to the riders as well as the horses which also have their (slightly taller) casetas. The music differs from tent to tent depending on tastes and likings. To a large extent, it is the local music typical to the Andalusian region. One can hear Sevillanas but also reggeaton, pop or house. Everyone will find something for themselves!
The difficulty of the organisation of this undertaking spreads out over a whole year and the event itself is the fruit of arduous and intense work. When the spring is upcoming, all they talk about in Andalusia is the feria. Undoubtedly, the main attraction is the horses and beautifully dressed riders. They can be watched from morning till night throughout all the days of the week. The costumes and the horse tack divides into two styles: Alta escuela and doma vaquera. Women riding at the back are very much appreciated and positively viewed. Many of the ladies come to feria in a female saddle. On the last day, there is a competition for the best rider, best Amazon and the best couple taking place.
To get to the feria, you can get on a special bus running all day around the city. To pass through the gate, you need to walk by foot, ride a horse or get in in a carriage. It is forbidden to move around by any other means of transport. Women wearing special dresses with frills, called gitanas, ride on the horses sitting sideways. The cost of a dress like this is no less than a 1000 Euro and lets not forget you also need to add certain accessories and jewellery on top of it. The hairdos tend to get fancy too, a woman needs to have a traditional Spanish bun. Obviously, it is frowned upon to show up in the same gown 2 years in a row!
In case you feel like living this adventure and taking part in the feria not only as a spectator but also as a participant with full rights, contact Blanca! She will help you choose your costume to avoid faux pas, draw your attention to the most important aspects of this colourful fest, lead you throughout the party and drag you into this whirlpool of Spanish craziness! You feel like coming to feria on a horse? No worries, our stable in Sanlucar is full of well trained and calm stallions waiting to be taken for a pleasant ride. You can choose the style in which you want to present yourself on the streets of Jerez de La frontera. Blanca will be there to help you put together or rent necessary costume, bridle and saddle.
Come to the feria in Jerez and taste the Andalusian fairy tale from a completely different perspective! It is a one of a kind event and will remain a beautiful memory forever!
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