(The Spanish Easter Parade)
One of the perks of living in a foreign country is getting to attend the many fairs and festivals that are held. The other perk is getting to take lots of pictures of these events and being able to share them with others.
This is a portada, the main entrance for the Cordoba feria.
The portada (main portal) of the Cordoba Feria is 140 metres wide, with a 45m-tall main central tower, two smaller towers at either end, two main arches one on each side of the main tower, and a multitude of Mezquita-style red-and-white striped double arches.
The word Feria means a local festival or fair usually held in honor of a patron saint. The Cordoba Feria is therefore also known as Feria de Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of the Health).
This feria takes place the last week of May every year. It has been held since 1284. Entrance is free.
During the feria and every day from noon to roughly 8:00pm there is a sort of Easter Parade that takes place. Called the Paseo de Caballos it is a parade of horses and carriages led by purebred horses with well dressed riders and sometimes fashionable ladies.
The men who ride wear traditional Cordoban hats which are flat with a wide brim. They sit very tall and high in the saddle and cut a stately figure.
The ladies, of all ages dress in exquisite traditional dress of all colors, shapes and sizes.
The traditional dress is called traje de cordobesa which is composed of a skirt and jacket with their hair swept up into an elegant chignon covered by a net.
I was told that the beautiful flowers worn in the hair of the fashionable ladies are only worn in two locations; one low and behind the right ear, or on the back part of the top of ones head. Some ladies wear as many flowers as they can find.
What would a fair be without a ferris wheel or a carnival? This is no exception. There were actually two ferris wheels, carnival booths and food stands that went on for miles. This is quite an event. The booths open from 4:00pm to 5:00am. In Spanish this is called La Calle del Infierno (Hell’s Street).
Bullfighting is a part of the feria festivities and the bullring in Cordoba is considered to be among the seven most important in all of Spain. I don’t have any pictures of a bullfight because this little girl was too cute not to take a picture of.
Not to be outdone in wearing their fancy dresses these men strut their stuff in their fancy flamenco aprons! In actuality they were headed from one casetas to another. The casetas are food tents and here at the Cordoba feria there were over 100 of them. They are tents which offer food, drink and dancing. Lots of flamenco dancing takes place from noon to 5:00am. The entertainment was free; the beers were not.
After seeing all these wonderful feria dresses and the many colors they came in we were compelled to buy this complete outfit for my youngest niece Natalia. Natalia is taking dance lessons and we thought she would look smashing in this flamenco ensemble. I hope she likes it.