The feria: a brief, but necessary recap

25 Oct

It’s been nearly a week since the Fería de San Lucas ended, and now I feel like I can properly do a brief, but necessary recap of all that happened.  Rather than bore you with the details of 10 days and nights at the fería, I’ve decided to come up with a top 5.

While the fería encompasses much more than these 5 things (a circus, bull fights, etc.), I think that these will give you a good overview of my feria experiences.

1. The Casetas:

Casetas (tents) are set up all over the fairground. Major bars and restaurants from all over Jaén close down their original locations to set up elaborately decorated and huge casetas. Organizations, such as the red cross or the diario de Jaén (the local newspaper) also design their own casetas with food, music and dancing. In some of the bigger cities in spain, such as Sevilla, many casetas are private and open by invitation only. However, because Jaén is a much smaller city, the casetas are open to the public. But don’t let this lead you to believe that this means the casetas aren’t crowded! From early afternoon until the wee hours of the madrugada (in between 12am and 8am) the casetas are packed with people of all ages. And don’t be surprised if you see young children dancing among all the adults. Some families stay out until 2am or later. But as the day goes on, the family crowd is usually replaced by jovenes (youths) drinking in the streets and dancing in the casetas.

 

2. The Attraciones:

In addition to the casetas, a large portion of the fair grounds are devoted to the various attractions. These attractions are pretty universally standard for any fair or carnival, but the feria had a wide range of thrill rides, kiddy rides and fun houses. Some of my favorites: coches de choque (bumper cars), la barca (a large swinging boat), and la lavadora (the washing machine). My personal favorite to watch was the rodeo americano (American rodeo). The ride – which required riders to hang on to large, spinning bulls – was anything but American. However, the rides were a big attraction for people of all ages. As a side note, the only difficulty I found was trying to teach one of my private english classes the concept of ride as a verb and noun – i.e. Did you ride the rides at the fería?

 

3. The Bebidas:

Another big part of the fería was the drinking. There were the various bebidas (drinks) that were especially associated with fería. These drinks included pilycream, a sweet, chilled white wine that was sold in bottles but meant to be sipped from small plastic shot glasses. Along with a bottle of pilycream came a panuelo (scarf) that could be seen tied around the necks, arms and legs of many feria-goers. In addition to pilycream, there was chatos de vino (shots of wine) that could be bought from different wine stands around the feria. This wine, like pilycream was very sweet, only red instead of white wine. Finally, there were rebujitos, a mixture of wine and fanta that many people drank.

 

4. The Botellon:


In order to cut down on the cost of highly-priced fería drinks, the younger crowd had a giant botellon (pregame) where you bring your own alcohol, mixers, glasses and ice – All of which can be purchased at many stores along the walk to the fería. In addition to cutting down on costs, the botellon allows for a lot of socializing the streets along the way to the fería. Although illegal, there is somewhat of an unspoken agreement where people can practice botellon during the fería as long as they stick to certain areas of the city. This allows for an easier cleanup during the next morning.

 

5. The Comida:

This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the various types of comida (food) that is sold all around the fería. This includes all types of incredible sweets – chocolate covered apples (above), churros, turon, etc. – and typical spanish food such as paella, migas, and jamón (ham). It’s not hard to find good food, it’s just hard to choose what to eat. But sometimes the food can be a little more expensive, as are many things at the fería.

Well, that’s the brief recap of what the fería consists of. I hope this makes sense and does justice to the fería.

My Lesson of the Day: It’s good to move to a new city in enough time to enjoy their fería

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2 Responses to “The feria: a brief, but necessary recap”

  1. mom October 25, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Hey em thanks for finally udating the blog. Love the pictures. Feria sounds like one big, happy festival.

  2. Chris October 25, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    Man how I missed the feria’s. Hope you’re having a great time in Espana and just wait until Semana Santa. It will be a blast.

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