(Leer en español) Visit Feria de Abril in Seville is a unique opportunity for to know the festive folklore associated to south of Spain. Carriages, gypsy dresses, flamenco, wine and bullfight are the stars of a traditional festive week in Seville. It began as a cattle fair but has become one of the most important celebrations of Andalusia.
HISTORY OF Feria de Abril
The Fair was born in the mid-eighteenth century as an event of buying and selling cattle. The first edition was in 1847 and since 1920 already has the festive component that is enjoyed today in the district of Los Remedios, where is installed in 1973. Fifteen days after Easter comes the ‘Pescaito Monday’, because the fish is the typical dinner that day of the Fair. The ‘Alumbrao’ is at 00:00. With the changes for 2017, the Fair begin on Saturday this year.
The ‘Alumbrao’ of Feria de Abril
More than 24,000 light bulbs illuminate the Portada, gateway to the fairgrounds, and each year dresses up to pay tribute to a historic building or important event in the city of Seville. The Fair is illuminated by more than 350,000 bulbs, which at 11:59 pm on Saturday begin to ignite gradually in a show expected impatiently by Sevillian and visitors.
Portada of Feria de Abril
This year is dedicated to the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Universal Expo in Seville 1992. There are references to the Cartuja Monastery, the participating countries and Curro, the mascot. There is also a reference to the fourth centenary of the birth of the Sevillian painter Esteban Murillo. Here there are more details …
Enclosure of Feria de Abril
Divided into three distinct parts, it is located along the river in the district of Los Remedios. In addition to the parking area, the trade is divided into El Real and Elm Street. The latter is an amusement park, full of ‘cacharritos’ to enjoy strong emotions. It acquires its name from the high volume of the music that sounds in the area.
‘El REAL’ of Feria de Abril
El Real is the epicenter if you visit Feria de Abril. The ground is covered of albero, yellow soil used in bullrings, and more than 1,000 ‘casetas’ (stands) are installed to enjoy Seville and visitors. The distribution is like a small city and are great bullfighters in the history of Seville who name their streets, as Juan Belmonte or Pepe Hillo.
‘CASETAS’ of Feria de Abril
The best places to eat, drink and dance at the fair. Its are white with red or green stripes and there are two types, private and public. There are more than 1,000 ‘casetas’ installed in El Real and only 20 are public and freely available. Privates become the “home” of Sevillians during the week, so you’ll need permission to enter with them and enjoy the family atmosphere that exists there.
Drink in Feria de Abril
In the last decade it has imposed ‘rebujito’ as a popular drink. Manzanilla wine, Sprite and ice filled glasses of visitors and inhabitants to cool and cope with the heat of Seville. That Manzanilla of Sanlúcar and Fino sherry are the most traditional drinks if you visit Feria de Abril in Seville.
Eat in Feria de Abril
The sausages, gazpacho, salmorejo and spanish omelette are the stars with the traditional dinner of fried fish. In addition, daily dishes are made for lunch, such as ‘caldereta’, stews of meat and vegetables, stews with cuttlefish, chickpeas with cod… If you put up with all night carousing, you’ll see that it’s time to stands of ‘calentitos’. It is ‘churros’ or ‘buñuelos’ with chocolate for breakfast.
Dress in Feria de Abril
The star is the flamenco or gypsy dress. It comes from the tradition, because the wifes of the traders in the early days of the Fair, gypsies in many cases, wearing a robe which added trimmings. The evolution of this regional costume does not stop because it is the only traditional clothing that is subject to fads.
If you visit Feria de Abril and you have not gypsy costume do not worry, it is not essential. You will see that many women simply add some Flamenco item to their clothing, like flowers, ruffles, earrings, hair combs … Among men it is less common the use of traditional dress, but often they dress elegant way, with jacket and tie on many occasions. When night falls, visitors and residents of the Fair bring out their best clothes.
Music in Feria de Abril
Sevillanas is the music that you will more listen if you visit Feria de Abril. Although during the last decade there are more mainstream music in the ‘casetas’, the typical is to enjoy the rhythm of sevillanas and receive a fast dance class by Sevillian people.
Horses in Feria de Abril
The animal star of El Real. With a detailed regulation, the horse has a great importance in the Fair. Riders and carriages fill the streets of the enclosure from noon until 8:00 pm. If you visit Feria de Abril you can enjoy a typical view of the riders with the clothing required or live it in a carriage.
Bullfight in Feria de Abril
There is a Bullfight fair in the same date in Seville. It is one of the most important fairs in the world. Since Easter Sunday, the Bullfight stars will be in the Maestranza Bullring to participate in the festivities. Stars like Morante de la Puebla, El Juli, Talavante. Manzanares or Castella are in the calendar. Look at the full here.
Seville in Feria de Abril
With the move of the Sevillian to the fairground, the city is much less busy than the usual and is a good time to enjoy monuments, streets and gastronomy of the city in the main tapas bars. If you visit Feria de Abril, you can escape to the center one day.
Tips for Visit Feria de Abril
Besides approaching the folklore with this list, we want to give you some advices:
- Visit the city, it is a quiet moment.
- Wear comfortable shoes and do not panic when you see yellow due to albero.
- Leave the car and take the special bus line from the ‘Prado de San Sebastian’.
- Fair closes with fireworks. Enjoy it better from ‘Muelle de las Delicias’.
- Get a map of enclosure.
- Determine meeting points.
- Try to get an invitation for the private stands.
- Have patience and forget the rush because there may be up to a million people.
- Enjoy, smile, dance, drink, eat and olé.