A spectacular climate, lots of partying, really good cuisine, good music, sun, beaches and a lot of culture make the Málaga Fair the most important summer Andalusian feast. From August 11 to 19, 2018, the streets of Málaga will be decked out for one of the city’s most important events. To attend, all you need is your best smile and a great desire to have a good time. Málaga’s people have an open personality, making this a feast from everyone and for everyone.
The origin of this feast goes back to the fifteenth century and commemorates the day the Catholic Monarchs marched into Málaga in August 1487, annexing the city to the Crown of Castille. The monarchs gave the city the image of the Virgin of Victory, and the City Hall marked this day as an annual festivity. As years went by, it became the most important festivity of the Costa del Sol. Its more than 300 events invite everyone to enjoy and experience one of the most important tourist areas in the South of Europe: Málaga and its Costa del Sol.
TRADITIONAL EVENTS AT THE MÁLAGA FAIR THAT YOU CANNOT MISS
Nonstop fun and celebrations are the undisputed protagonists of the Málaga Fair, but culture is no less important. There are three traditional events that you should not miss if you go to Malaga these days.
1. Proclamation, pyro-musical show and concert at the Malagueta Beach. These are the three events that set off the Málaga Fair, and which always take place on the first Friday of the Fair. The first official event is the reading of the Proclamation (Pregón) by a prominent Málaga native, followed by a spectacular pyro-musical show lighting up the city’s skies. The finishing touch is added by the first concert at the Malagueta Beach.
2. Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Santa María de la Victoria. The first Saturday of the Fair at noon is time for the city’s traditional pilgrimage (romería) to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Victory (Virgen de la Victoria), the patron of the city. A large number of people on horseback, in carriages or on foot follow the standard-bearer to this temple, a place which the locals hold in their hearts.
3. Inauguration of the artistic lighting of the Málaga Fair Grounds. The Real de la Feria (The Málaga Fair Grounds) is an enclosure measuring over 50,000 square meters and housing over 180 fair stands. There are several well-differentiated areas where you can eat, drink and dance to your heart’s content. On the night of the first Saturday of the fair, the artistic lighting at the gate is turned on. This is a unique an beautiful moment to experience.
ENJOY THE MÁLAGA FAIR LIKE A LOCAL
You will find these three events on all the Málaga Fair guides, but we at Wiber go beyond that. We want you to experience this great celebration like a true boquerón (yes, that is what Málaga locals are called, and it means “anchovy”). So pay good attention, because you cannot go to Málaga without…
1. Enjoying the day fair downtown. During the day, the streets of the historical center of the city fill with people coming together to dance, drink and enjoy some tapas. The busiest pedestrian walkway, Larios Street, becomes the epicenter of the celebrations with music shows, charangas (brass bands) and women dancing flamenco.
2. Wearing polka dots and hats. There is a saying that goes: “When in Rome do as the Romans do”. So, if you are thinking of taking a stroll in downtown Málaga, do not forget to wear a flower in your hair if you are a woman; or, if you are a man, the Cordobés hat (the typical hat from Córdoba). There is no lack of mantones de Manila (traditional embroidered silk shawls), fajines (colourful shashes) and polka dots on the streets. And, of course, remember to bring a good fan. It will be your best ally to fight the high temperatures.
3. Listening to verdiales music. This is Málaga’s typical music and dance. The men, in a white shirt and black trousers, sing something akin to a fandango (a branch of flamenco) while the women, wearing peasant skirts, dance to the music. This is one of the must-see shows at the Málaga Fair, which will bring you closer to Málaga’s culture.
4. Drinking Cartojal. This is Málaga’s ultimate sweet wine. There will always be plenty of bottles going around on these days. A cold glass of this wine will help you withstand the heat during the day, also leaving a great aftertaste. Another typical drink of the fair is rebujito, a manzanilla type of wine with soda.
5. Eating pescaíto frito. Were you thinking of leaving the land of pescaíto frito (fried fish) without having a taste? During the fair, you will be able to find thousands of bars and restaurants downtown offering this specialty or espeto (fried sardines) right on the beach. With all that Cartojal and dancing, it is always a good idea to stop a bit to renew your energies and fill your stomach.
6. Taking a night stroll around the fairgrounds. When the sun goes down, if you have any energy left and still want to keep celebrating, you can check the fairgrounds at Cortijo de Torres, because at night that is where the party is. There will be all sorts of stands with all sorts of music for all tastes, so you can shake it up until you are ready to drop.
7. Relaxing at the beach after the party. Because Málaga is not only about partying, we recommend enjoying its superb beaches both in the city and in the rest of Costa del Sol, which has a lot to offer. We at Wiber recommend a road trip around Málaga, Antequera and Ronda, a unique cultural and scenic triangle.
Follow all these tips to make the most of the Málaga Fair and enjoy it to the fullest, and we guarantee you will have a true #WiberExperience.