Students and visitors of Granada, pay attention! It will be no long before the start of “La Feria del Corpus”, which will be celebrated from 15th to 22th June.
During the main event of the city, we can find the typical elements of Southern Spain festivals: decorated casetas (huge tents) with drinks and typical recipes, women dressed as flamenca and areas dedicated to any kind of attraction.
The history of the Granada Fair has very ancient roots; in fact it was celebrated for the first time 500 years ago as Fiesta Mayor (main festival) by the Catholic monarchs Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón after the Reconquista (conquest) of the city, on 2nd January 1492. It marked the end of the Nasrid kingdom. For this reason the fair was born in relation to the Corpu
s Christi (Body of Christ), commemorating the Catholic Eucharist in a proclamation of Christian faith in front of the Muslim population that inhabited the city.
Nowadays during the Corpus there are several expositions, events, contests and workshops. Moreover, there are typical choirs (called coros rocieros) and regional dances, theatre, zarzuela, concerts and sport tournaments. At night,
instead, the flamenco atmosphere reaches its maximum splendor. The children’s activities make the Fair an event that embraces the whole city, its dwellers and visitors, from children to adults.
The Fair is celebrated between the centre of the city and the fairground (recinto ferial) of Almanjáyar, where you can see elegant horse carriages and characters with typical dresses of Andalucía. The fairground is divided into three parts: that of the cacharricos (attractions), that of the public booths, which this year will be 57 (seven more than last year), and the access roads where stands of street vendors are located.
Everything starts on Monday evening with the proclamation and the lighting of the cover of the door called Real de la Feria, whose light bulbs represent the frontage of the Granada Cathedral, and ends the following Sunday with a fireworks show.
The private casetas are the ones that organize the most varied contests, above all the gastronomic ones. There you can taste typical recipes such as pucheros, gazpacho, choto al ajillo, fried fish, paella and much more.
Among all the activities of the Corpus in 2019, there are two processions; one is pagan and the other one religious.
The former, which begins on Wednesday morning, is called La Pública and is addressed to children and youngsters. Its main character is Tarasca (Tarasque), a mannequin dressed with the clothes that will be popular during this season and that rides a horse. We can say this character symbolizes the triumph of the Good over the Evil, of the Beauty over the Beast.
The latter is called Cortejo del Corpus Christi (Cortege of Corpus Christi), during which the streets of the city are crowded with people.
The Corpus Christi Procession, which gives name to the fair, is a religious event that begins on Thursday, which is always a holiday’s day in Granada. It leaves the Cathedral with the Custodia plateresca (the plateresque is a very ornate artistic style imitating the works of silverware – in Spanish plata – from which the name of plateresco comes) given by Isabel la Católica. It’s one of the most beautiful ones in Andalucía, and it’s located on a car adorned with flowers and accompanied by civil authorities, representatives of brotherhoods and the public that has come from various regions of Spain. It is said this is one of “the three Thursdays of the year that shine more than the sun”, according to tradition.
The procession is preceded by giants and big heads representing Moors and Christians. After a mass, it begins from the Cathedral and the whole route is done under awnings and on a carpet of grass, rosemary and other species, while a shower of petals falls on the monstrance.
The bullfighting fair ends on June 23 with a bullfight in Plaza de Toros and the last activities take place in the Patio del Ayuntamiento.
Differently from similar events in other parts of Spain, a characteristic of the Corpus Christi Fair is the presence of carocas and quintillas. The former are cartoons and the latter are small phrases, which allude to political or current issues in satirical form and which are displayed to the public in Plaza de la Rambla during the whole fair week.
To learn the detailed program and how to reach the fair, consult this link.
Instituto Mediterráneo Sol recommends everyone to enjoy this cultural event of Granada, as it is emblematic of the city and its traditions.
We can’t wait, and you?