AUGUST is the holiday month of Andalucia, when the village fills up with relatives, who have had to move away to find work, usually to Sevilla, and their families. Houses that had been closed for most of the year, are re-decorated and all of the doors and windows thrown open to allow brothers, sisters and cousins to enter the house and celebrate their owners' returns. To mark this influx the bars of the village stay open longer and later and even employ more staff to cope and all of this culminates in the town Feria which is held on the middle weekend of the month. Sleep becomes irrelevant as a full programme of entertainment for people of all ages, is laid on by the Ayuntamiento, culminating each night with dancing in the Plaza de Andalucia until dawn.
All of the other towns in the Sierra hold their own celebrations during this month, although they are staggered so that anyone who wants to try to send him- or her-self to an early grave by way of over-indulgence or sleep-deprivation will certainly have the opportunity to do so. Probably the most striking of the other Ferias is that of Cortegana, which celebrates a Medieval Week, with most of the town in period costumes by staging mock battles between Christians and Moors and exhibitions of archery and ancient music, dancing and cuisine