EL ORIGEN DE LAS FERIAS

EL ORIGEN DE LAS FERIAS

Como algunos sabéis, en las últimas semanas hemos presentado nuestras delicias elaboradas con trufas en distintos eventos: en la 31 edición de Salón Gourmet en Madrid, en el Hotel Balneario Las Arenas, en la Fira de La Senia, en la 25 Feria de San Isidro en Castalla.

Por eso, se nos ha ocurrido indagar un poco acerca del origen de las ferias.

Las ferias, tuvieron su origen en la Europa Occidental, en la Baja Edad Media (S. V al S. X), en Aunque la economía rural agropecuaria era el motor principal del desarrollo de las ciudades, estas comenzaron a crecer en población, en comercio doméstico y de ultramar, en oficios, en artesanía de útiles - enseres y en finanzas.

En las ciudades con una situación geográfica estratégica, comenzó una confluencia organizada de mercaderes, maestros de oficios, tales como: herreros, curtidores, esquiladores, panaderos, artesanos del barro y la cerámica, etc., para efectuar sus tratos comerciales. Se reunían durante varios días y con una periodicidad normalmente anual, aprovechando la festividad del santo patrón, debido al trasiego de la población. Y así nacieron las ferias.

Como gran parte de estas transacciones tenían por objeto los animales, las ferias se realizaban en las afueras, cerca de las puertas de las murallas y en grandes explanadas, que posteriormente dieron lugar, a plazas abiertas, o cerradas con edificios alrededor: las típicas plazas de mercado antiguas, donde se ejercía una función comercial permanente. Posteriormente con la expansión urbana de la ciudad, se convierte en un punto céntrico de la misma.

El gran movimiento de mercancías, animales, enseres y personas, motivo a las autoridades locales o a las de mayor nivel (ya fuesen laicas o religiosas) e incluso en ocasiones al propio Rey, a concederles protección física, garantías económicas y rebajas de impuestos.

Por otra parte, comienzan a sofisticarse las prácticas comerciales y financieras que motivarían el establecimiento de precios, distintos tipos de crédito o pago aplazado, el cambio de la moneda, la banca, la compañía comercial, etc., lo que dará lugar al denominado capitalismo comercial.

En resumen, desde sus inicios hasta la actualidad, las ferias han sido consideradas como un evento social, económico y cultural, permanente, temporal, ambulante, periódico o anual, que se celebra en un lugar establecido con un contenido común.

Su objetivo primordial era y es la estimulación comercial y la divulgación de las cualidades de los productos que se exponen. Estos cada vez se presentan de forma más vanguardista, divertida y hermosa y en nuestro caso, en ocasiones con degustaciones muy sabrosas.

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