Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cultura de la Primavera: Springtime Fiestas

Sevilla lives for fiestas. Disfrutate en Sevilla.
Especially this time of year.

Andalucia is preparing as well speak for a fiesta (Okay I really really love that link's video, which I know is a beer ad, but it encapsulates everything about Andalucian culture in a simple video. Sorry if you can't understand it. Learn Spanish? I don't know what to tell you).

Anyway, next week will be Semana Santa, or Holy Week, which will bring a ton of religious processions through the city streets and even more festivities that include yummy dulces, or desserts! Consuelo made homemade torrijas a few days ago and it's been hard for me to not steal them from the cupboard when she's out of the house. So good!

Festivities begin on Palm Sunday, fraternities or brotherhoods will lead processions throughout the streets and thousands of people will gather to witness the passing of these men carrying large golden sculptures of different Saints and Jesus Christ. These brotherhoods have been practicing carrying these extremely heavy wooden "floats," for lack of a better word, for weeks. Consuelo's son-and-law will be participating in one of the processions.

Very Catholic. Very crowded. Very excited to witness this world-famous celebration!

I'm going to Germany (Wittenberg and Berlin!) on Friday until next Wednesday, but I will be back for the most celebrated days: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then of course there is Easter, in which I will probably attend Mass at the Cathedral. Impresionante.

That takes place every Spring called La Feria de Abril. Feria will be the first week of May this year and I don't really know anything about it other than:

1) There is Flamenco music, including singing, dancing, and guitar playing. (I also added a video from La Carboneria, a bar in Sevilla that has live Flamenco shows nightly.
2) There is Flamenco dress. Called trajes de Flamenca, all the girls and young women wear these weighty, ruffly, and colorful dresses, even in the 90+ degree heat of Andalucia.
3) There is eating.
4) There is drinking.
5) There is hot weather. (Which arrived already...)

This year Feria is May 2-9. I'm going to Rome (!!!!) on the 2nd until the 7th, so I will be here for two days and nights of Feria. I imagined that Feria would be something witnessed from afar, playing the gringa clad in Old Navy and flipflops standing back and watching the Andalusian culture.

Just for the fun of it, a friend and I went to a store to try on some trajes. Because I didn't want to miss out on something so important to Sevilla, I had to at least try a dress. People take these dresses very seriously here (the cheapest I've seen have been 160 euros, these were 190...!).
So, of course, I had to see what the fuss was all about...

I really had a good time pretending to be a Sevillana. I even contemplated buying the dress (until I saw the price) to use in the future: for Halloween, for teaching Spanish culture, for Fiestas of my own, for when I miss Sevilla, etc.

We put the dressed back on the racks and giggled our way out of the store.

I thought the fun was over.
Then Kelly and I got an email about someone selling really cheap second-hand Flamenco dresses...

This post is to tell you about my newest (and largest and heaviest and most clown-like) Sevillana souvenir:

Rosa con lunares.
(Kelly's is green with stripes and very guapa as well. More pictures later, perhaps during Feria?)

I hope you like it :)
And I hope I have room in my suitcase.
If not, I'll just wear it on the plane back..!


  1. Wear it back on the plane! please!

  2. I love the paintings of the dancers. I want you to learn how to dance. It would be really cool. =)

  3. Wear it on the plane baaaack!