Feria is also a line of hair color manufactured by L'Oreal. This line features added conditioners which are poured directly into the developer solution, premium gloves, and greater amounts of toner & developer for those of us with longer or thicker hair that might ordinarily have to buy two boxes of dye. Feria is also one of the few lines of hair coloring for men, with colors like Camel and Cherry Cola.

In Spanish the word actually means year market and fun fair, but nowadays it is THE large local feast in Spanish towns, which is celebrated each year on a certain day or in a certain period. It mostly used to be the year market that has grown into a large festival, often celebrating the patron saint of the town or city.

The most glorious feria is that of Sevilla (Andalucía), but in fact each feria is a lot of fun. In a village, the feria will normally last for a day, but in the larger cities, the festivities will go on for more than a week, during which it's party time 24 hours a day.

A typical feria has three stages:

  1. a parade of girls in gypsy dresses and horsemen in traditional costumes
  2. a fair
  3. a festival terrain where all possible societies, clubs, political parties and other circles have their own little houses (casetas). In the early days, only members were welcome to drink some wine and watch dancing contests, but now these societies are much more open.

Apart from these stages, ferias often also include Solemn Masses and matches in all kinds of sports and other game events. If there is a Plaza de Toros in town, the highlight of the bullfighting season is commonly celebrated during the feria as well.

The feria of Sevilla has been celebrated in April for over one and a half century. It was born from a cattle market where buyers and sellers set up their tents and the women accompanied the men to see if they would behave themselves. This market developed into a little temporary city of tent houses, eventually becoming a feria to the fullest extent, as described above.


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The Catholic Encyclopedia: F: Feria

Author: Francis Mershman
Transcriber: Joseph P. Thomas

Latin for "free day"

A day on which the people, especially the slaves, were not obliged to work, and on which there were no court sessions. In ancient Roman times the feriae publicae, legal holidays, were either stativae, recurring regularly (e.g. the Saturnalia), conceptivae, i.e. movable, or imperativae, i.e. appointed for special occasions. When Christianity spread, the feriae were ordered for religious rest, to celebrate the feasts instituted for worship by the Church. The faithful were obliged on those days to attend Mass in their parish church; such assemblies gradually led to mercantile enterprise, partly from necessity and partly for the sake of convenience. This custom in time introduced those market gatherings which the Germans call Messen, and the English call fairs. They were fixed on saints' days (e.g. Saint Barr's fair, Saint Germanus's fair, Saint Wenn's fair, etc.)

Today the term feria is used to denote the days of the week with the exception of Sunday and Saturday. Various reasons are given for this terminology. The Roman Breviary, in the sixth lesson for December 31, says that Pope Saint Silvester ordered the continuance of the already existing custom "that the clergy, daily abstaining from earthly cares, would be free to serve God alone". Others believe that the Church simply Christianized a Jewish practice. The Jews frequently counted the days from their Sabbath, and so we find in the Gospels such expressions as una Sabbati and prima Sabbati, the first from the Sabbath. The early Christians reckoned the days after Easter in this fashion, but, since all the days of Easter week were holy days, they called Easter Monday, not the first day after Easter, but the second feria or feast day; and since every Sunday is the dies Dominica, a lesser Easter day, the custom prevailed to call each Monday a feria secunda, and so on for the rest of the week.

The ecclesiastical style of naming the week days was adopted by no nation except the Portuguese who alone use the terms Segunda Feria (segunda-feira) etc. The old use of the word feria, for feast day, is lost, except in the derivative feriatio, which is equivalent to our of obligation. Today those days are called ferial upon which no feast is celebrated. Feriae are either major or minor. The major, which must have at least a commemoration, even on the highest feasts, are the feriae of Advent and Lent, the Ember days, and the Monday of Rogation week; the others are called minor. Of the major feriae Ash Wednesday and the days of Holy Week are privileged so that their office must be taken, no matter what feast may occur.

Fe"ri*a (?), n.; pl. Feriae (). Eccl.

A week day, esp. a day which is neither a festival nor a fast.



© Webster 1913.

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