Feria literally means fair and for a week in Sevilla, a fair is set up complete with rides and casetas (private and public tents for eating, drinking and dancing). At first I was disappointed that I would only get to see Feria for two days since I didn’t get back to Sevilla until Saturday and the festival goes from Sunday to Sunday. However, its just like the fair in N.C. It can be exhausting. So after I wake up around 1:30 on Saturday and lounge around for a couple of hours—I’m so lazy here—I meet up with Coop and Andrea to the “fairgrounds.” The whole city transforms for this fair. Despite the fact that horses are prancing and using the bathroom all over the streets, the women and the men dress up—the women wear flamenco dresses and the men wear “church attire.” The horses wear ornate tassels and bells and cart people who want to show off their feriawear around the casetas. Speaking of casetas, there are rows of tents everywhere—mostly private—for people to relax and catch up with family and friends. If you live in Sevilla, you’re invited to casetas belonging to either your family, your company, your neighborhood or your friends. If you don’t live in Sevilla, you generally have to go the public casetas, which obviously are not as good because they’re filled with foreigners who don’t know Sevillana dances or traditions. Either way though, it’s a good chance to sit down and escape the Sevillana sun (it’s one of the warmest cities in Europe); unlike the fair in Raleigh, they don’t really jack up prices that much. And the foods are similarly fatty and fried. Instead of funnel cake, they have churros and chocolate. I’m still a big fan of the fried dough and confectionary sugar combo but it’s a tough competition.
The rides are also very similar. Feria has a “superraton” (the crazy mouse), a haunted house, a pirate ship and a Ferris wheel. However, the safety measures are a bit lacking. On the pirate ship, we saw riders simply put into a metal cage. No seat belt, no harness, no nothing. On a circular “spaceship,” there were kids just jumping in the middle on a gym mat while the carnie bounced the machine around. My personal favorite was El Tren de La Bruja, meaning the train of the witch. Kids and adults alike board a kiddie train and while they ride around on a circular track (pretty boring in my opinion), a very intimidating clown-like man hits them with a broom. He physically hits them with the broom and they not only pay to be hit by a broom, but they’re thrilled by it and try to grab the broom. Luckily, I caught most of these phenomenon on video.
After the train, we headed back for dinner and decided to come back that night. The night was very similar to the day except fewer kids and we went with more people. Oh and I dressed up in a flamenco dress. I must say it was a pretty bold move to wear the dress as none of my American friends dressed up but I loved wearing it and having my senora help me get my outfit together. It’s like prom but better because its cultural and you get to go to the fair. However, as my dress was not very conducive to riding the rides, I mostly watched but was nevertheless, very entertained by the people watching. Coop in particular was mesmerized by a little gypsy boy who seriously looked just like a little man. But then he got jipped by a gypsy at the bathrooms who told him he had to pay a euro to use it and then continued to curse the gypsies.