Marking history with a bang

Stumble into the southern Spanish city of Ronda in the last week of May, and you might think you had travelled back in time.

For a few days every year, the mountaintop city celebrates the Royal May Fair Festival, known as Ronda Romantica, which commemorates life during the Napoleonic War era.

This year's festival, which ended yesterday, featured a series of battle re-enactments staged in the city square. The re-enactments included key campaigns such as the Spanish Independence War, which saw actors in French army uniforms wielding muskets and cannon.

During the festival, locals and tourists alike join in the fun, dressing up in 19th-century clothing, from colourful hooped gowns to decorative silk doublets.

Restaurants try to mimic the atmosphere of the era, serving traditional fare such as chorizo (spicy sausage) at tables lit with only kerosene lamps or candles.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2018, with the headline 'Marking history with a bang'. Print Edition | Subscribe