the feria is the week long fair celebrated in Andalusian towns with sevillanas but not much flamenco singing
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the week long fair celebrated in Andalusian towns

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sevillanas, sherry, fairground rides, but little flamenco...but a socially interactive event each year


Each town in andalusia has a week long festivity called the feria, the fair
Feria del Caballo
Jerez de la Frontera

HORSE FAIR in Jerez de la Frontera

1st May to 8 May 2011
Feria del Caballo

caseta pollitos

casetas win prizes for the best decoration and construction even though they are temporary

simon el rubio with tio pepe girls

fair ride

fair rides for the children as well

tio pepe girl    tip pepe waiter rebujito

The fair is not complete without the Tio Pepe girls, a glass of sherry or rebujito (sherry lemonade mixer)

horses, carriages, sevillanas


feria poster jerez 2010

sherry bottles

fair rides jerez 2010



2nd May to 9th May 2010 - Feria del Caballo (feria de Jerez, Jerez fair)


dancers jerez feria 2010 sevillanas


feria at night night and daytime feria jerez 2010 daytime fair

JEREZ May 2004 to 2009

click to the feria 2004 to 2009 in Jerez

JEREZ May 2003

click to the feria 2003 in Jerez


JEREZ 2002

Buy a dress for the feria


children clap to the sevillanas rhythms


The feria de caballos is well known as the horse fair in Jerez de la Frontera. These are scenes from the feria 5th to 12th May 2002.





riders stop for a sherry and a chat

jerez may 2002   horse and sevillana ladies


A viewpoint






Visitor figures for year 2002 in Jerez: about 240 casetas, a record 2 million visitors, some 500 horses and 400 horse and carriage paraded around the feria (from Diario de Jerez 14th May 2002)







Crash course...

There are three verses to each of the four sevillanass that are danced as a set.

To be cool, you need to know when to begin (just after the introductory melody line), when to pass your partner (like a bullfighter), and when to stop (it must be everyone at the same time.)







click here to the sevillanas maths table (only for the initiated!)

The feria is always enjoyable for its variety of movement, costume and noise... Somehow I was left disappointed with my experience this year (2002) in Jerez. I missed the good old days when casetas employed groups to sing and dance sevillanas for the entertainment of the clientele. Now we only hear a competition of noisy disco sevillanas and rumba CDs between casetas and very few people actually dancing sevillanass properly if at all. Perhaps the bar owners were more worried about covering the enormous cost of constructing a caseta just for the week after which it is pulled down. They have to take enough money to make it worthwhile. To give you an idea one owner admitted it was tough - his family spent half a million pesetas (about 3000 Euros) on building the caseta, for a return of some 1.5 million pesetas (about 9000 Euros) excluding paying the waiters and other expenses. So this gives you an idea. No wonder he refused to have any live sevillanas group this year.

crowded casetas at the feria dressed up sevillanas style

It also seemed that more were concerned with how they looked (especially the rich on horseback) and where they were seen. Meanwhile the younger generation went clubbing around their own pop music casetas.

To be correct the mayor of Jerez, Pedro Pacheco, did require all casetas to open their doors to the public, but old-fashioned elitism has crept back! It is still important to know the right people (nothing wrong with that) but when the fun is limited to social etiquette, then essence is lost!

It is also noticeable that so few men know how to dance sevillanass. Even the Jerezana women are sloppy about their steps (I am sorry to say.) It is as though Jerez is only interested in "its" Bulerias de Jerez, but not the folklore of sevillanas. This lazy approach to dancing sevillanass has actually spawned an inbetween layer of teaching known as sevillanass para la feria. I know of at least one teacher in Jerez who gives such classes in the run up to the feria. It is a watered down version of the sevillanas, made simple, so that at the right time the man can posture like a torero while the lady twirls around him. But you still have to know the rhythm!

The only time I saw sevillanas clasicas properly danced was in the municipal caseta which was reserved (or excluded) for TV slots of invited singers and groups. Upon enquiry one night, I managed to speak to the dance teacher (an older dignified lady from a neighbouring town, Puerto Real), whose girls danced an elegant set of sevillanas with fans in one hand.

the third sevillana - somewhere... the man poses like a torero while the women do all the work... sevillanas are fun for a couple

A sevillanas is a courtship dance with three verses, and danced as a set of 4 sevillanass together. You have to take some sevillanas dance classes and get to know the structure of the music, in order to have some idea when to start and when to stop...! My advice is to learn at least the paso de sevillanas, the basic step so characteristic of the sevillanas. This can help get you through the rest.



Children enjoy both the traditional fairground activities as well as the casetas.





children lride   family outing

Malaga 2001


The Malaga feria in August 2001 was brimming with activity, sometimes spontaneous in the street - in the picture a group of ladies start up with tangos until a lot more people are infected by its sensuous swing.











dancing and clapping   lady singer

The Verdiales are typical of the Malaga region. They are sung and danced with the accompaniment of guitars, hand drums, violin and finger cymbals.

cymbols in verdiales  verdiales musicians



buy a cd of verdiales







and of course there are the horses

see the equestrian web pages

impromptu verdiales dancing  instruments used for verdiales


horses carriage and flamencas sipping sherry


The feria is much grander than a nightime verbena or local street party, where sevillanas can be sung and danced as well.



what is the Rocio?


flamenco prizes parts1,2,3,4

Content "feria" and photographs © Simon Zolan 2001 to 2011

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