The history and celebrations of the Feria de San Bernabé

Feria de San Bernabe - Verdin Property

The Feria de San Bernabé is a significant annual event held in the city of Marbella, Spain, to honor its patron saint, Saint Bernabé. It is a week-long celebration held in June that combines religious traditions, cultural events, and lively festivities. In this article we will outline the history and celebrations of the Feria de San Bernabé:


The origins of the Feria de San Bernabé trace back to the Reconquista era when Catholic monarchs regained control of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. Marbella was one of the cities reclaimed, and as a result, a chapel dedicated to Saint Bernabé was built. Over time, the religious devotion to the patron saint evolved into an annual festival to commemorate the city’s Christian heritage.

Feria de San Bernabé - Verdin Property


  1. Opening Ceremony: The Feria de San Bernabé usually begins with an official opening ceremony. Local authorities, dignitaries, and residents gather for a grand procession, which includes the statue of Saint Bernabé. The procession is accompanied by music, traditional Andalusian costumes, and also horse carriages.
  2. Daytime Activities: Throughout the week, the city comes alive with a variety of daytime activities. The fairgrounds are set up with amusement rides, games, and stalls selling traditional food, drinks, and also crafts. People, both locals and visitors, enjoy strolling around, indulging in regional delicacies, and participating in fun-filled activities.
  3. Music and Dancing: Music and dance are integral parts of the Feria de San Bernabé. There are several stages and venues hosting live performances of flamenco, sevillanas (a traditional dance), and various music genres. People gather to watch the performances, and it’s not uncommon to see impromptu dances taking place on the streets.
  4. Fireworks: As the night falls, spectacular firework displays light up the skies over Marbella. These fireworks are a highlight of the Feria, captivating the audience with their colors and patterns. Families and friends gather to enjoy the dazzling spectacle and create lasting memories.
  5. Traditional Attire: During the Feria, locals often don traditional Andalusian attire. Women wear colorful flamenco dresses, while men opt for traditional outfits, including suits known as “trajes cortos” or “trajes de corto.” This adds to the festive atmosphere and also showcases the region’s cultural heritage.

The Feria de San Bernabé in Marbella is a cherished event that brings together people from different backgrounds to celebrate their shared history and traditions. It provides a vibrant and joyful experience for both residents and visitors, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Andalusia.

Visit the Feria de San Bernabe, on until Monday 12th June –

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