Cocentaina fair has been going since 1346 and (apart from the civil war years in the 1930s) it has been a continuous agricultural fair from the medieval period to the present day. It takes place on the weekend of All Saints every year. While the original purpose of the fair was oriented towards the town’s function as an agricultural and business centre, today it has a very strong appeal for visitors with its “medieval market” appeal. The streets are crowded with visitors from Valencia who arrive in special trains laid on for the three day fair, jostling their way through the crowded medieval streets, examining the craft stalls and tasting the over-priced foods on display.
From my point of view, the attraction is the animals – still present but only as a token presence at the fair – and usually there are some pretty young donkeys. Today was no exception. The above donkey foal was one nervous star of the show, and the foal below was one of a pair of twins with a very slight looking mother.
For my donkeys, the fair is useful because there are stalls with a wide range of equine tack. Aitana has outgrown her foal head collar and I bought her a new pony-sized head collar: a green one to replace her earlier green one, and a matching green lead rope.
Cocentaina town hall web pages for this year’s fair: http://www.cocentaina.es/ver/2344/FIRA-2013.html
Donkey Behaviour Conference
Also coinciding with All Saints day is the opening of the first international symposium on donkey behaviour, in Davis, California, with Ben Hart (the “donkey whisperer” of the Dorset Donkey Sanctuary) delivering his presentation to 120 vets, scientists, donkey charity workers and donkey owners. I cannot wait to read his presentations, to be published on the Donkey Sanctuary site: http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/blog/7618