The Seville April Fair in southern Spain
After the Semana Santa (Holy Week) the Feria de Abril (Seville Fair) is probably the most important event taking place in Seville, the capital city of Andalusia in southern Spain.
The Seville April fair usually takes places two weeks after the Easter Holy Week on a huge fairground next to the Guadalquivir River which divides the city in two parts. The event lasts for six days and officially starts on Monday. For the people from Seville the Feria is a week of Flamenco dancing, eating, and drinking. Normally all members of the family will participate, including young children and even babies.
Each day of the April Fair, from around midday until the early evening hours the people from Sevilla parades around the fairground on horseback or in carriages. Most men are dressed in the traditional Spanish tight trousers and short jacket (known as 'traje corto') and the women in flamenco style dresses (also known as 'traje de faraleaes').
During the Feria de Abril there are daily bullfights in the bullring of Seville, the Maestranza. Many experts consider these bullfights the most important one's of the season in Seville. Information about the events going on in the bullring can be found on every corner of the city and in every bar and restaurant.
The bullfights of the Feria de Sevilla are an important and you should buy your tickets on time in order to obtain a good seat in Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza. The best places are the so-called ‘sombra’ seats, because they are on the shadier side of the bullring. In Seville it can get really hot, even in the month of April, so it is worthwhile to invest in the extra comfort.
For the duration of the event the fairground of Seville is covered with casetas, which are temporary canvas tents where people get together to socialize, dance the typical Sevillanas, drink and eat.
Some of these casetas belong to the prominent families of Seville, some to groups of friends, clubs, trade associations or political parties. Most of the casetas are private and belong to the prominent families of Seville, trade associations or clubs. Only very few are open to the public, like the caseta municipal which belongs to the town hall and the casetas managed by the associations from the different districts of the city. If you do not have an invitation or a friend in Seville these are the only ones where the general public can dance Sevillanas or eat tapas.
The origins of the tradition date back to the nineteenth century when it was organized as a livestock fair. Only a year later it started to transform into the Feria de Abril as we know it today.