Enamored with the Spanish Easter Parade

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Our friends the Six-Monthers, baby boomers Florence and Mike Lince, are about to end their years-long adventure of moving from one country every six months to another. But before they settle into something more permanent (and less taxing), they treat us to one last look at one last adventure: Desfile de Pascua, or as we would call it, the Spanish Easter Parade.

One of the perks of living in a foreign country is getting to attend many fairs and festivals. The other perk is getting to take lots of pictures of these events and being able to share them with others.

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This is a portada, the main entrance for the Cordoba feria (a day of festival).

The portada (main portal) of the Cordoba Feria is 140 meters wide, with a 45-meter-tall main central tower, two smaller towers at either end, two main arches with one on each side of the main tower, and a multitude of Mezquita-style red-and-white striped double arches.

The word Feria means a local festival or fair, usually held in honor of a patron saint. The Cordoba Feria is therefore also known as Feria de Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of the Health).

This feria takes place the last week of May every year. It has been held since the year 1284. Entrance is free.

During the feria, every day from noon to roughly eight at night, there is a sort of Easter Parade that takes place. Called the Paseo de Caballos (horses), it is a parade of horses and carriages led by purebreds with well-dressed riders and sometimes fashionable ladies.

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The men who ride wear traditional Cordoban hats, which are flat with a wide brim. They sit very tall and high in the saddle and cut stately figures.

The ladies, of all ages, dress in exquisite traditional dress of all colors, shapes, and sizes.

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The traditional dress is called traje de cordobesa, which is composed of a skirt and jacket, with a woman’s hair swept up into an elegant chignon covered by a net.

I was told that the beautiful flowers worn in the hair of the fashionable ladies is only worn in two locations: one low and behind the right ear, or else on the back part of the top of one’s head. Some ladies wear as many flowers as they can find.

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What would a fair be without a ferris wheel or a carnival? This feria is no exception. There were actually two ferris wheels, plus carnival booths and food stands that went on for miles. It is quite an event. The booths open from four in the afternoon to five in their morning! In Spanish, this is called La Calle del Infierno (Hell’s Street).

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Bullfighting is a part of the feria festivities and the bullring in Cordoba is considered to be among the seven most important in all of Spain.

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Not to be outdone by the women in their fancy dresses, these men strut their stuff in their fancy flamenco aprons! In actuality, they were headed from one caseta to another. The casetas are food tents and here at the Cordoba feria there were more than a hundred of them. They are tents that offer food, drink, and dancing. Lots of flamenco dancing takes place from noon to 5AM. The entertainment was free; the beers were not.

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