Spain – and especially Andalusia again – is the land of the ferias and fiestas. Taking into consideration that every single village is celebrating its patron once a year, there are thousands of these festivals. All of them are quite different, depending on the region and the occasion, but they all have something in common: There is never a lack of wine, dance, music and loads of fun.
Ferias are the traditional former annual fairs which evolved into general folk festivals. Nowadays they aren’t necessarily related to their historical origin anymore, but still worth to be experienced. You will often find the so called “casetas” here, tents and booths belonging to associations or rented by families. In the former case the access is for free, the associations are just supplementing their cashes by selling food and drinks.
The largest and most popular feria of Andalusia is the “Feria de Abril” of Sevilla, but of course Alcalá del Valle has its own small version of it. The feria here started yesterday, Thursday 15th and will continue until Sunday. Another four days in which the inhabitants of the pueblo come together, party and forget even more every day’s troubles. The only reason why they can continue doing this for four days must be related to their relentless need to socialize and chat.
In Alcalá as, in many other pueblos around here, the most important parts of the ‘daily’ activities during the feria take place at night, with some activities not even starting before midnight. There are beauty contests (in traditional dresses of course), flamenco dancing, free paella eating and concerts to name a few things.
The in Alcalá world famous singer Jesús Gonzales – a guy from the village that participated in Spain’s X Factor show – is of course also performing. On Saturday night 24.00 it is Joana Jimènez’s (photo) turn. She launched her music career with the release of 1989’s Esa Paloma, a popular debut album that blended traditional flamenco with contemporary pop. I have have the feeling that she might be more my cup of tea.
I can only hope that our guests don’t want their breakfast too early on Sunday morning….