Ok, so I wish I had a more creative title for this post, but the creative juices are not flowing. Since last Monday Feria has been going on, which is basically just a big party with lots of drinking and dancing of Sevillanas, a type dance related to Flamenco dancing. I didn't think I was going to like it very much because to be honest Flamenco dancing is not my favorite part of the Spanish culture, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think part of the reason is that the music is really happy and this I like. Part of Los Remedios, a barrio, is set up with casetas, which are tents, and are usually private. However, the city has set up some public casetas for those who are not invited into the private ones. The private casetas are shared by families or by corporations. Perhaps Martin Nursery should have a caseta next year?!? The women dress up in traditional Flamenco dresses; things aren't as formal for the guys, although some of them go all out. Horses are in abundance, and it reminds me of a western scene mixed with the Spanish culture - something that is hard for me to explain in words.
It kicked off on Monday night (midnight) with the lighting of the portada, or the main entrance. My host father told me that the portada design changes every year, but they recycle the materials that make it up. This year it was really pretty, but after seeing pictures of other years, it has a different feel. There is then a fried fish dinner in all of the casetas. Tuesday is a declared holiday for the city of Sevilla so that all of the working people can have a day of Feria. By Friday, Feria is filled with tons of turistas. It will then end tomorrow night with fireworks at midnight.
The drink of choice is called Rebujito - a mix of Manzanilla (white wine) with 7-Up. Let me tell you it is very refreshing, but very dangerous. As my host mom was explaining it to me, she told me to only have 4 or 5 glasses. I was a little surprised because that number seems very high, but the glasses are very small, which to be honest is almost worst. I had a major language miscommunication with one of the Spanish girls I have met. We were in her caseta and she had bought a jarra of Rebujito for us - well I wanted to pay her for it, so I gave her money. Well, I thought she was going to get change from the bar, but instead she ordered us another pitcher because she thought we wanted more. It just goes to show you how one word misunderstood can turn into a completely different situation. Luckily, we had other people help us drink it!!
Along with Feria there is a fair - it was cool to see all of the same rides and games that we have in the US, but in Spanish instead. It's called the Calle de Infierno - a somewhat fitting name. One game that I thought particularily fun was a camel race. They have all the healthy foods that are normally associated with fairs - including alogodon dulce (cotton candy). We left the fair at 2:30AM, which is a huge difference from the fairs in the states as most of them close way earlier than that!
Feria is definitely a fun time here in Sevilla. The natives either love it or hate it. I definitely enjoyed myself just taking in the dresses and the dancing and enjoying an occasional cup of Rebujito! The first picture is the portada after just having been lit up and the second one is of the traditional dresses and dancing!
We're finishing up classes within the next week and then exams start - where has the time gone!?!?!?!?