Feria International de Los Pueblos is one of the most loved festivals on Costa del Sol, with thousands of participants and more than a million visitors who come together to celebrate culture, traditions, diversity and gastronomy over the course of six days. This year, Feria International de Los Pueblos took place between the 30th of April and the 5th of May, between 1PM and 4AM, at the Recinto Ferial in Fuengirola.
This year, over 30 countries were represented at the festival: Serbia, Turkey, Senegal, Brazil, Ireland, Colombia, Morocco, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Ukraine, United States, Chile, Grecia, England, Australia, Cuba, Paraguay, India, Hawaii, Finland, , Venezuela, México, The Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bulgaria, Uruguay, South Africa and Japan. For the first time, Estonia and Canada took part in the festival.
One of the most memorable events of the festival was the parade of the folkloric groups belong to each participant country. Starting in Piazza Espana in Fuengirola, the parade followed the Avenida Condes de San Isidro, turning left on Calle Alfonso XIII and then right on Paseo Jesús Santos Rein when it stopped at the ferial grounds. The parade stated at 11:30 with the representatives of Bulgaria, who processed along the road performing traditional dances from the country. For over two hours, each country has shown their best performances on traditional music.
One of the most impressive groups of the parade belonged to Bolivia. Hundreds of traditional dressed performers, both men, women and children, gathered all around Andalucia, danced on Bolivian music. Another fascinating display belonged to Chile and their Puku Rangi Tea cultural ballet from the island of Rapa Nui – in the Easter Islands.
Tukey paraded with a fantastic Tanoura dancer surrounded by women belly dancers. Tanoura is a spiritual type of dance in which the performer spins around dressed in a multi-coloured type of skirt, without getting dizzy. It is both intriguing and delightful to watch the patterns on the skirt become one, and the dancer immersing himself inside of the fabric.
Belgium had a group of Smurfs followed by some bizarre masked characters throwing confetti into the crowds. After researching, I found out that they are the Blanc Moussis, traditional icons of the carnival of Stavelot, who have carrot-shaped noses and wear long white capes. They love playing practical jokes on the people attending the festival, so that’s where the confetti poured onto people’s heads came from.
Some countries brought some famous people that represent their countries. As an example, the United Kingdom not only paraded with the queen sitting in a carriage pulled by horses but also with Marry Poppins, Harry Potter, and even James Bond. The United States has John F. Kennedy together with his wife, Nancy, slowly moving through the crows in their convertible car. And not to forget mentioning Finland, who came with Santa Clause himself, straight from Rovaniemi.
Spain ended the parade with a fun game of bull chasing, where two men wearing massive costumes portraying the animals recreated the famous Running of the bulls from Pamplona.
Over the 6 days, the ferial ground from Fuengirola transformed into a giant joyful celebration of diversity. Every country showcased the best from their traditions, music and cuisine. Uruguay and Argentina started massive barbeques with the finest steaks available. Cuba brought the authentic Mulata Rom and started the party with thousands of mojitos. Australia enchanted the public with a Kylie Minogue tribute, whist South Africa demonstrated their skill in drumming. Bolivia’s cakes were mouth watering whilst India’s tikka masala spread aromas of exotic spices. Belgium showcased how craft beer is made, whilst Spain taught visitors how to sing and dance sevillanas.
Below you can find the best photos from Feria International de Los Pueblos:
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