THE August fair – perhaps better known to foreigners as Malaga fair – is here again, and it is one of the biggest in Spain.
This fantastic street party has its origins in 1487 when the town was incorporated into the Corona de Castilla (Castilla kingdom) by the Catholic Kings.
The Kings gave the city the Virgen de la Victoria (victory virgin) and the recently formed council agreed to always commemorate the event by celebrating a “fiesta” every year on the day of Asuncion.
Originally the celebration was only one day long and the whole town would join in a procession in honour of the Virgen de la Victoria. In just a few years it had grown to incorporate a small bullfight (only four bulls) and a few casetas (pop-up bars).
In the 17 century fireworks were incorporated into the celebrations and then came more casetas and by 1887 it resembled what it is today, a nine day-long celebration of everything from the local gastronomy to the expositions of the flower arrangements in the old part of the town.
One of the peculiarities of the modern Malaga fair is that it is celebrated in two different locations: the daytime fair takes place in the centre of the town and at night it moves to the recinto ferial (purpose built fairground) on the outskirts of the city.