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.
1- April Fair History:
Feria de Abril began 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. once accepted by Queen Isabel II, 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.
2- 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.
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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.
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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 La Maestranza bullring.
The Saturday night is the final day of Feria, it ends with a fireworks display over the River Guadalquivir.
3- When and Where does it happen?
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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 2019, starts from 4th May to 11 May. Today it will be held from 26th April to 02 nd May 2020.
Where: For the last decades, the Fair was organized in Prado de San Sebastian, which at the time was in the surrounding area of the city. However, the place couldn’t fit the festival so it was changed to Los Remedies located in the south-west of the city center near to the river. You can recognize the site because every year the organizers build a magnificently decorated entrance gate designed to welcome attendees and it has a special charm when it gets illuminated by thousands of lights at the sunsets.
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.
4- What are Casetas ?
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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. These tents are public and private in other words, the private tents you can enter into it if you know someone or you are a member of that Casetas. 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 privat one there are bars music and serving food.
5- April Fair Traditional Costumes :
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The April Fair is very famous by it’s 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.
6- 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.