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Merida prepares for its annual Roman fair

Merida prepares for its annual Roman fair

The event gives visitors the unique chance to get immersed in the daily life of Antiquity

Emerita Lvdica is the name of an annual festival taking place in the Spanish city of Merida, which celebrates its rich Roman heritage. It is modelled after the now-common medieval fairs that take place in many cities. The difference is that the organizers here turn the dials of the time machine even further back – somewhere back to the 1st century AD.

The eleventh edition of the fair will take place 4-10 October 2021 and the municipal administration is already inviting those who want to set up stalls at the Roman markets to sign up.

Careful attention is paid to historical accuracy

The name Emerita Lvdica is Latin for ‘Merida Games’. Visitors get the chance to transpose themselves back to the times of the Ancient Romans and experience what life was like back then. Locals actively participate in recreating the historical atmosphere and there is a whole slew of events to keep one interested and in awe.

Tourists can see historical reenactments, gladiator fights, legionnaires marching, a fashion show with Roman clothing, theatre plays and two markets.

One of the markets, the “III Macellym Ceres” will be located near the Augusta Emerita Provincial Forum, with the Arch of Trajan serving as its entrance gate. That market will be dedicated exclusively to foodstuffs. The other one, the Diana Temple Market, will offer artisanal handicrafts.

Both of these public places will offer products that respect the accuracy and traditions of Roman times while trying to avoid anachronism. They also pay homage to the role of Augusta Emerita as a market town where peasants from the surrounding countryside came to sell their products.

A "White" Roman Night also takes place during the event. Thus, the main monuments are open to visitors until the early hours of the morning. And these are some impressive sites, indeed. So much so that they merited the inclusion of the city on the World Heritage Sites list by UNESCO in 1993.

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