“Soy muy feriante” is a colloquial way of saying, “I love this fair.” Although there are some Sevillanos that don’t get into the hype, I would say the majority of the city participates – and how.
Feria is so visually stimulating, it’s almost overwhelming. Living where we do in Triana we get the overflow from the fairgrounds, and the people watching availability has escalated 100%. Forget fútbol, I will be a competitive people watcher. The streets are a riot of color – dresses, horses, carriages, balloons, toys. When I came back from school on Tuesday and turned the corner into our neighborhood, I spotted a couple on their way to the fairgrounds. The boyfriend driving his moto and the girl on the back, with her flamenco dress spread out behind her. The helmet is the best accessory …
I cannot stress the importance of the horses, or the quantity of them. The horses themselves are shined to perfection and are also dressed to the nines: tails and manes braided or curled, and a variety of decorative bridles and ribbons. Various fair-goers ride in carros or horse-drawn carriages which have their own footmen and drivers. When you hear sleigh bells at this time of year, it does not signal Santa Claus on vacation but the carriages riding up and down our streets. One of the most amusing parts for us is the El Rocio style of horses as a mode transportation. Just yesterday a small group of horses appeared to be in line at my ATM, with their owners greeting friends and having their first rebujito of the night. On Tuesday there was a horseback botellón just outside our house at about 1 am .. we are contemplating charging for horse parking. This week has been a serious of sharp double takes for horses, dresses and revelers .. and side stepping over horse poop.
Women ride side saddle with their heads held high and flowers on top of their heads – you half expect them to burst into song. Men on horseback are wearing the traditional traje corto and the Tio Pepé-esque hats. There are some women dressed in equestrian attire, and they look just as incredible as the ones dressed flamenca. The wealth is evident and the pageantry is incredible.
The fair has taken Sevilla by storm. There is little space for anything else – my roommate can’t get an xray because the doctor is on a festival schedule, and some of our fellow auxiliares only worked on Tuesday this week! The Sevillanos’ dedication to this event is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Leave the house at 9 pm, come home at 4 am, lay down for 2 hours, shower, go to work, leave at 3 pm, go home, get dressed again, go out again. It is a vicious cycle fueled by fine wine and fiesta DNA. I’m sure the guys downstairs throwing kegs into the back of a truck have something to do with it as well.
A few photos for you here at mid week –