The May Feria: words and photos by Lisa Denton

The May Feria, Torrevieja, Spain
The weekend weather turned the sea to the colour of oysters on Saturday and Sunday – not a good portent for the May Feria – the Torrevieja festival that began as a private party for residents originally from Seville – no-one appears to know when!


These days it is a full-blown tourist attraction, a major event featuring Sevillanas*, flamenco dancing, fabulous horse shows, singing and plenty of food and wine set out in ‘pop-up’ restaurants in the Feria main street, in front of the Dique de Levante promenade that separates the town and port from the sea.


An invigorating, noisy, music-filled space, the Fair is redolent with the savoury smells of meats, fish and huge pans of steaming paella that are offered and served by genial camareros – men and women both – who move to the rhythm of the Sevillanas, as dancers and diners, dressed in typical Spanish costume, gather to celebrate this annual festival.


A kaleidoscope of colour, gastronomy and music delights the senses as visitors, from all points of the compass, join the party, becoming Torreviejenses for the day, faces wreathed in smiles, feet tapping to the sensuous rhythms, savouring the local flavours, all with a sense of ‘oneness’, in tune with this seaside community on the Costa Blanca in their annual celebration of Spring.






* The folk tunes and dance of Seville have themes of country life, neighbourhoods, pilgrimage, virgins and love! Sevillanas are danced by men and women, boys and girls in town and country community celebrations right across Spain. Most Spanish are taught Sevillanas when they are children; the choreography has a very traditional structure so once learned, it can be danced at any festival, gathering or Feria where Spaniards gather to party, which they do as often as possible!


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