This month the streets of Malaga are scented with jasmine; it’s August and time for the city’s annual fair, the ‘Feria de Malaga’. During this season, street vendors, called ‘Biznagueros’ are seen throughout the city centre selling beautifully fragrant biznagas malagueñas. These delicate floral decorations, dating back to Moorish times, are in fact dried thistles that have had individual fresh jasmine flowers sewn onto each skeletal stem. It’s an extraordinary piece of creativity and for me really is the flavour of summer in Malaga.
They are also the icon of Malaga’s fair. Starting on Saturday 17th August and running until the 24th, this huge celebration is an integral part of the identity of Malaga capital.
See here the programme of events for this year’s fair.
Expect the centre of Malaga old town to become a huge open air party. The main pedestrianised street, Calle Larios, is decorated with paper globes and flowers, and at the entrance stand two oversized, architectural biznaga sculptures.
During the day this part of Malaga is the main focus of the feria with plenty of small tents or ‘casetas’ where alcohol, treats, tapas and gifts are for sale. There is of course lots of Andalusian copla singing and dancing including verdiales, the local interpretation of flamenco.
Then at nightfall the party moves to the edge of town to Cortijo de Torres district, where there is a huge fun fair set up, for more partying that lasts well into the small hours. As is the case in Andalucía, celebrations here, despite all the alcohol, are always good natured and perfect for families.
The fair commemorates the taking of Malaga by the Catholic Monarchs, (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) on 18th August 1487, and it’s been an excuse for a party ever since.
(Malaga is one of my favourite cities in Andalucía and is still very under rated. There is a plenty for the culture vultures, including the contemporary arts museum, the Picasso museum, the Foundation, The Carmen Thyssen; also family attractions like the car museum. There is also the recently revitalised port, where the cruise ships dock, and plenty more besides).