Marbella feria kicks off with a wet start

by Lorraine Williamson
San Bernabe feria 2023
ASSSA

MALAGA – Located in the beautiful Andalucian region of Spain, the Romería of San Bernabé in Marbella began on Sunday.  The pilgrimage of San Bernabé commenced from Casa Hermandad and continued to the Ermita del Pinar de Nagueles above Marbella. Angeles Muñoz, Marbella´s Mayor accompanied the pilgrims at the start of their journey.

This event serves as a captivating prelude to the annual fair (feria) which opened last night (June 6). It marks a significant cultural and religious occasion for the locals and visitors alike.With a history dating back centuries, the Romería of San Bernabé is deeply rooted in Marbella’s cultural heritage. This event pays homage to the city’s patron saint, Saint Bernabé, while showcasing the fusion of Christian traditions with Andalucian folklore. Held every year on the eve of the feria, the romería brings together thousands of devotees, dressed in traditional costumes, to embark on a joyful pilgrimage from the historic city centre to the picturesque chapel of Ermita de San Bernabé.

A colourful parade of faith and tradition

The Romería of San Bernabé is characterised by its vibrant and colorful procession. Participants adorned in flamenco dresses, traditional Andalucian attire, and horse-drawn carriages make their way through the streets, accompanied by the lively sound of Sevillanas, a traditional Spanish dance. The rhythmic clapping of hands and the strumming of guitars create an atmosphere brimming with energy, reflecting the exuberance of the Andalucian spirit.

Also read: Flamenco and its origins

Reverence and merriment at the Ermita de San Bernabé

Upon reaching the Ermita de San Bernabé, the devotees gather to pay their respects to the patron saint. Floral offerings are made, and prayers are given for blessings and protection. Following this solemn moment, the atmosphere transforms into a joyful celebration, with music, dance, and traditional gastronomy taking centre stage. Local delicacies, such as gazpacho, pescaíto frito (fried fish), and sangria, tantalise the taste buds of attendees, creating a true feast for the senses.

Marbella´s annual feria

The Romería of San Bernabé acts as a precursor to Marbella’s renowned annual feria, which commenced last night (June 6). This lively event brings together residents and tourists alike, offering a captivating blend of entertainment, gastronomy, and cultural activities. The fairgrounds come alive with thrilling rides, traditional stalls, and flamenco performances, making it an experience not to be missed.

Also read: Fiestas, Ferias, and Celebrations in Spain 2023

The lighting of the Arch

The Romería of San Bernabé acts as a precursor to Marbella’s renowned annual feria, which commenced last night (June 6) and will continue until June 12. This lively event brings together residents and tourists alike, offering a captivating blend of entertainment, gastronomy, and cultural activities. The official feria Arch was lit last night, and was followed by singing and dancing as well as a spectacular fireworks display. This announced the opening of the feria. The fairgrounds will come alive from today, and each day at 1.00 pm with thrilling rides, traditional stalls, and flamenco performances and entertainment into the wee small hours.  Despite the wet start to the feria, it is still an experience not to be missed.

The full itinerary (in Spanish) can be found here and by clicking on “Programa feria y fiestas San Bernabé 2023”.

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