The well-known Feria de Abril in Seville is coming. This one week consists of fiestas that last throughout the night filled with music, drinks, and traditional dances that occur in “casetas”. The 2019 Fair begins on Saturday, May 4th at 23:59 with the “alumbrao”, consisting of thousands of light bulbs that light up the streets leading up to the entrance, and ends on Saturday, May 11th at 24:00 with fireworks. This basic guide will go over the history of La Feria de Abril, and how you can fit in/party like a Sevillano!
Where Did it Come From?
The April Fair first began in 1847 as a market to buy and sell cattle for the locals in Southern Spain. As the exposition continued to grow in El Prado de Sebastián, the festive environment did as well, and the fair soon moved to Los Remedios in 1973 to celebrate as they do today. Soon the attendees started to put up “casetas” and light fireworks to keep the fiestas going. Over the years Seville’s April Fair has become an internationally known celebration of flamenco.
What are “Casetas”?
The Spanish word “caseta” most closely translates to hut, or tent. These tents are set up in the fairground in Los Remedios like stalls in a market and are used as little homes for fairgoers to come together and celebrate with family or friends. Each tent has a “pañoleta” on top with a number and name of its owner. Although a majority of these casetas are privately owned by locals, the parties always flow into the surrounding streets. There are, however, a handful of publicly owned tents that anybody can enter. Click HERE to learn which you can enter on our FaceBook Page, or go to the Information Booth at the entrance!
If you aren’t interested in checking out the casetas, be sure to head over to “Calle del Infierno” (Hell Street) with rides, games, and vendors!
What to Wear
The ‘official’ party attire for men is a classic short suit, and a flamenco dress for women (Traje de Flamenca). These dresses come in all colors and sizes and are beautiful, especially when dancing Sevillanas. Although this is the traditional attire, it is not required, but it is always fun to dress up in your best clothes! The Sevillanos value it when you are “de punta en blanco” or well dressed in the caseta.
Though most flamenco dresses can be very pricey, it is definitely possible to buy/rent one for cheap. A few places to check out are: the mobile app “Wallapop” to search for “vestido de flamenca/sevillana” for second hand options, Calle Feria has second hand stores (check out Humana) and a street market every Thursday morning, rent one on various SITES searching “alquilar traje de flamenca”, or buy a new one in one of the many shops around Seville (for around 99-120€).
Food & Drinks
Typical food for Feria includes: tortilla de patatas, jamón serrano, croquetas, montadito de lomo, gambas, queso, pescado frito, and various meat dishes.
Typical drinks while at the fair are ‘’Manzanilla’’, which is a type of white wine, and more commonly “Rebujito’’ which is Manzanilla mixed with Sprite. These are both drank as “catavinos” which is a small glass used for trying different drinks. The “Caldito del puchero” is a typical drink if you need to recover from a hangover.
Another aspect of the Feria week is ‘Los Toros‘, the bullfights that are held every day!
Don’t live in Seville but still want to come to La Feria? Learn how to easily travel around Spain in our recent blog POST.
We hope that you get to check out this week of festivities for yourself and experience the true heart of Seville. Be sure to tag us in any photos that you post using #WeLoveSpainExcursions
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