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Discover the Málaga feria

Discover the Málaga feria

Aug 06, 2018 What's happening?

Ferias, or fairs, are a way of life in Spain, and nowhere more so than in Andalucía, the southern region where many of the country’s traditions are most strongly alive and well. Of all the many festivities that are held in villages and towns across the region, the annual Feria de Málaga is one of the most spectacular.

Held late in August at the Recinto Ferial, a special fairground adorned with bright lights in the balmy summer evenings, the Málaga feria is an exuberant weeklong celebration in the third week of the month that commemorates the reconquest of the city from the Muslims by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1487. 

Pass through the brightly decorated arch and you enter a world of funfair rides, food stalls and casetas, traditional bars and dance halls that represent different social and religious societies within the city, but which all offer revelry via song, dance, socialising and of course food and drink reign supreme. Fino (dry sherry) and wine are the beverages of choice and grills produce a constant flow of food.

Music and traditional dress are also an integral part of this lively tradition, which sees beautifully clad ladies in flamenco dresses and traditional hair combs accompany men in dapper bolero hats and Spanish horsemen’s outfits, not infrequently on horseback, as equestrian traditions run deep in Andalucía.

Above all, however, the feria is a time to catch up with friends, dance and make merry. Flamenco takes centre stage, but zarzuelas and comparsas are also popular, as are contemporary pop and Latin music, complete with salsa and reggaeton for those who want to make the night a little more tropical.

The feria starts on the Friday night with an opening address, the Prégon de la Feria, held at the town hall, and sealed with a colourful fireworks display that lights up the city. Free concerts, often at La Malagueta beach, are a popular part of the proceedings, and it is on the Saturday that people begin to visit the feria ground in numbers.

Come by day for a gentle sampling or live it to the full at night, but if you’re in the vicinity the Feria de Málaga is the kind of experience that will stay with you for its colour, vibrancy and authentic Andalusian flavour.