I really wasn’t sure what to expect when going to the Granada Feria but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Every year each province in Spain celebrates their patron saint with a week long fair (feria). Granada’s feria begins 60 days after Easter Monday and usually there are a couple of days off work and all the shops close so it’s a really exciting time for friends and family to celebrate together. This year I was lucky enough to be in Granada where they pay homage to San Cecilio. The celebration starts on a Saturday where they turn all on the decorative lights – called the alumbrado – which takes place at midnight. There is always a life size recreation of a famous monument of the region completely covered in lights and this year it was Granada’s cathedral, which looked amazing!
The feria was located to the north of city in a huge fairground but getting there was not a bother because there were loads of taxis and buses. I really underestimated how big it was going to be; One side of the feria was lined with rides and food and drink stalls and at the other side there were huge marquees with restaurants inside selling various types of Spanish food from paella to a simple but fantastic plate of patatas bravas. And the marquees that were not restaurants were clubs and bars and there was even live music – everything you want at a fair to be honest. It’s hard to explain the scale of this event because it was honestly huge and seemed to go on forever. This was a slight hindrance at times because it was insanely easy to lose your friends but there were many distinctive places where you can find each other again. Just charge your phone before you go and even if it does run out it’s easy to make some new Spanish friends when you lose the original ones!
When you do find your friends again you should definitely go on some of the rides. No wait, just go on all of them. At first the rides sounded quite expensive, especially when they started to add up, but the most expensive is four euro and when you convert that to pounds it’s not that bad. The rides took me back to the good old days (I’m only 20 but you know what I mean); flashing lights, blaring rave music and the ticket guy shouting “here we gooooo” and “are you reeeaddyyyyyyy!” But this time it was in Spanish, and it’s safe to say it was a very good laugh.
I can’t explain how good the atmosphere was, every marquee was bouncing, the music was blaring, everyone was dancing inside and outside of the tents and when you weren’t dancing you were shovelling down a plate of patatas bravas washed down with a pint of tinto or cerveza. From babies to the elderly, you could tell everyone was having an unbelievable time. We even saw an old couple drunkenly dancing salsa, which made my night.
On the Wednesday of the Corpus Christi week processions takes place in the centre of the city, one of which is called the Tarasca. It consists of a mannequin sporting next seasons fashion staple, sitting on a dragon, which is carried through the city streets, followed by gigantes and cabezudos, which are giants made from paper maché. This celebration precedes the more serious and spiritual procession, which happens on the Thursday.
The Spanish people really go all out when it comes to wearing the traditional dress: there were many woman wearing beautiful flamenco dresses with flowers in their hair and even if you weren’t wearing the traditional dress you were definitely dressed for a special occasion. I really appreciated experiencing this part of the culture and seeing how much it meant to people. All this continues throughout the next seven days until the next Saturday – the closing night – where there is a huge fireworks display to conclude the week.
So, if you want a taste of traditional Spanish culture then I highly recommend the Granada feria. I have honestly made some great memories there and I am definitely planning to return in the future. If you are ever near Granada at this time of year then it should definitely be on your to do list.