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April Fair in Sevilla

La Feria de Sevilla, or April Fair in Sevilla, has its origins in a cattle fair which took place as early as the end of the 19th century. In about 1847 the first of many events which would turn into one of the most famous and visited celebrations in Spain. On that first occasion it was celebrated at the Prado de San Sebastián, a fielded area on the outskirts of town, and included 19  casetas.

Due to the tremendous success that it had, from that moment on the two parts of the fair were divided, on one hand the cattle fair and on the other hand the part that included diversion, music and dance. The result is an area where the fair is located that resembles a small city where different groups set up their casetas along long streets.

It was from 1973 when the fair moved its location to the neighborhood called "Los Remedios", a rectangular space about a kilometer and a half long and half a kilometer wide. The streets are decorated with paper lanterns (farolillos) and throughout the day you can see  paseo de caballos(horse and carriage), caballistas(riders on horseback) and elaborate wagons pulled by large teams of horses (enganches enjaezados), moving up and down the streets. And at any hour of the day you can see women dressed in typical flamenco dresses (los trajes de flamenca) and groups of people singing and dancing  sevillanas.

La Feria begins each year with the ceremony of the lighting of the main portal to the Fair. They call this the  "ceremonia del alumbrado" or lighting ceremony.Thousands and thousands of lights are lit around the entrance (portada) This year it begins on April 26 at 12 midnight, and ends the following Sunday, May 2 at 12 midnight with firework display.  The dates of the April Fair depend on which dates Holy Week falls, always beginning 3  weeks later. 

The Fair is almost a replica of the city of Sevilla, with streets of  albero (white and yellow colored earth used in gardens of bull rings), lights, paper lanterns, and the casetas, where the people of Sevilla and thousands of visitors mix together in the happiest of diversions: singing, dancing, eating and laughing. 

Right from the morning the fair fills with people watching the horse and carriages roll by (los coches de caballos), or the horseback riders in formal dress ( traje corto) carrying aboard the accompanying lady dressed in flamenco dress, and others who invite you to join them in song or dance creating a union of cultures and people with an explosion of colors and aromas. 

It is typical to eat fried fish or pescaíto with a glass of sherry  manzanilla o fino to cool off from the heat that is present at this time of year. Although you can also find  las tapas and other typical dishes such as paella. 

In the afternoon there are families walking by on their way to treat their children to some sweets or to enjoy the fair rides

Because this is a city with a long bullfighting tradition, there are of course bull fights every afternoon. There are great numbers of people and important figures of the bullfighting world attend. At 5 in the afternoon all the fans are at the  Maestranza to watch the bull fight with 6 bulls. 

Afterwards the festival continues, the fair does not rest at night and contains even more color light and diversion. 

The food and the sherry abound, mixed with the dancing and sound of guitars; bewitching everything throughout the night, which will not end until dawn when everyone begins to retire in search of a cup of hot chocolate with the typical churros before they rest for a few hours and continue the next morning until the last Sunday of the fair. 

 

Escuela Internacional Central Registration Office
C/ Talamanca, 10, 28807 Alcala de Henares (Madrid), Spain
Telephone: +34 91 883 12 64, Fax: +34 91 883 13 01
e-mail: info@escuelai.com

Cities in Spain
Salamanca - a walk
Shopping Salamanca
Nightlife - Malaga
Gastronomy-Málaga
Gastronomy-Salamanca
Places to go - Alcalá
Excursion - Segovia
Excursion - Siguenza
Trip to Matavenero
Celebrations / Events
Semana Cervantina
Carnival in Spain
April Fair-Sevilla
San Isidro in Madrid
Fiesta del Pilar
Alcalá Film Festival
Christmas in Spain
Spanish Christmas carols
Culture
Picasso Museum
Flamenco in Malaga
Cervantes in Alcalá
Bullfight