The Feria de Abril is an extraordinary event and the most colorful festival held in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain. In addition, starting the spring with a special huge party completing fabulous dresses, traditions and delicious foods. This festival occurs each spring along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Usually, the fair begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week. in other words, this event is a celebration where Sevillian take care of the family ties and their relationships.
History of the April Fair
The Seville dates back in 1847 when it organized as an agriculture and livestock fair to be held in the city by two councilors called José Maria Ybarra and Catalan Narciso Bonaplata. Queen Isabel II agreed to open it, The first fair organized at the Prado de San Sebastian, on the outskirts of the city which had 19 casetas, Nowadays it boasts over 1.500 casetas considered as one of the biggest celebrations in Seville.
April fair Calendar:
The April fair starts Monday night, which falls two weeks after Semana Santa, ending the following Sunday midnight with a magnificent firework display along the Guadalquivir River.
Monday night known as La Noche Del Pescaito means meal for dinner contains fish night. After dinner people go towards the Portada is the gorgeous structure at the entrance to the Feria, where thousands of lights, lighted on by the Mayor of Seville at midnight.
Tuesday is the first official day of the festival when horseback processions over the fairground with men dressed in traditional suits and wide-brimmed hat known as El Traje Corto and women wearing beautiful flamenco outfits.
The week continue with a midday processions named “the Paseo de Caballos” where are adorable horses carry people in their classical clothes to the Real Maestranza bullring.
The event divided into two parts:
Daytime: at the midday procession of carriages and riders which called Paseo de Caballos is one of the most impressive things in this festival. Usually, Most of carriages hold people to the bullring La Maestranza where are the breeders and bullfighters used to meet.
Night-time: the real party begins at the sunset when people allocate their time to socialize and enjoy drinking, eating and dancing.
When and where does it happen?
The April fair is one of most representative festivals in Seville, Following the dark Holy Week parades have finished. Sevillian work day and night for two weeks to guarantee that everything is ready for the Feria de Abril.
When: traditionally Seville Fair begins two weeks after the parades of Semana Santa from around Monday at midday and kicked off as early as Saturday. the dates of the event are not fixed because each year arranged new dates as In 2017, the event takes place May 2-7, while in 2018 the dates will be April 17-22.
Where: The ceremony takes place from the Real de la Feria in Los Remedios to the south-west of the city center close to the river.
What to do: the atmosphere is filled with the music, color and cheerfulness of the April fair. This is a week of serious drinking, eating, dancing and socializing with friends. During the day, enjoying the horse carriages and riders crowd the streets, also listening to the Music streams out of the tents, and watching kids walk in streets with plastic toys and cotton candy.
What are casetas and La Portada?
In the April fair, the major grounds composed of private and public tents named casetas. This tents shaped in different sizes and take place in the real de la Feria covers 102km2 and included the enjoyment park called Calle Del Infierno.
Moreover, this casetas belongs to groups of friends, local families, clubs, businesses, political parties and trade associations. This casetas comprised public and private tents in other words, the private tents you can enter into it if you know someone or he is a member of that casetas tent. Although, the public ones are open to everyone.
The casetas are the key to amuse the April fair. Because inside the private tents you can find delicious tapas and drinks served from midnight until next morning. Besides, each casetas provided with kitchen, bar, sound system and playing the ceremonial genre of folk music in Seville, which has a special dance. In other hand, the public casetas tents are also similar to the privet one there are bars music and serving food.
The Portada means the façade of the door symbolizes one of the monuments of the city and changes every year. In fact, la Portada has special charm when it gets illuminated by thousands of lights at the sunsets.
Traditional costumes at Seville’s April Fair:
The April Fair is very famous by it’s the gorgeous dresses for women and men.
For women: women wear the traditional outfits called Traje de Gitano, or flamenco dresses or gypsy outfits, usually has shiny colors and decorated with matching flower in hair, jewelers, tasseled scarf and large earrings.
For men: men dressed in a traditional way too, especially those on horseback or driving carriages. They wear short jackets, tight trousers, boots and wide-brimmed hat this beautiful dress called Traje Corto.
What to eat and drink at the April Fair?
The most typical foods in the April fair begin when thousands of multi-colored light bulbs flicker into life and lightning the festival Known as the Alumbrado in that time people have already had the Pescaito Dinner.
Furthermore, this delicious meal comprises baby squids, fried prawns, clams, red mullets and other tasty and fresh caught seafood. Also one of the most famous dishes you should try the juicy Jamón Ibérico came from a little village in the province of Huelva called Jabugo. Besides, for tasty accompaniment to the Jamón is a hearty plate of savory Cured Sheep Cheese.
Other traditional dishes are Tapas plates contain Gazpacho, Salmorejo from Cordoba, and taste various types of delicious Spanish tortillas such as Tortilla Española made by potatoes, Boquerones in vinegar and Tortilla de Camarones with Shrimps.
Also mouth-watering the tasty fried dough treats like Buñuelos or churros with hot chocolate is a very special dessert to end the night with.
In brief, the April fair is one of the most fabulous festivals in Seville where you can enjoy your time with friends and family. In this event the party never stops; you will build new friendships, enjoy the music, taste new delicious foods almost all day and night long and end the event by watching the beautiful firework show on the last night.