Feria de abril at Seville
If you have read my other topics in the travel section, you should notice that the month of april is full of festivity and for this month, the most famous one is the “feria de abril” (april fair) at Seville, south of Spain.
If you plan to go there, prepare yourself to the hot weather but also to have a lot of fun, specially to drink and to eat a lot from the morning until night time.
I have to say that the most curious thing is how this festivity has born. You may think that people who created were from this autonomous region, well not at all. It was in 1846, exactly august 25 when 2 guys (one catalan and one basque – north of Spain) asked the
town council the permission to celebrate a yearly fair. Without any inconvenient, it was granted and the first one was opened in 1847 for 3 days (april 19, 20 and 21). To inaugurate such event, the town council decided to put in place some competitions and entertainments like the best ox, the best running horse, bullfight… The next year, days have changed to match with the saint days, april 17, 18 and 19 and since this time, the festivity grew up a lot and extended its popularity through all Spain and after, across the world.
Famous visits not only from queens and kings of Spain but also people like the prince of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy… contributed a lot and of course, with the growing, the fair moved from place to place and nowadays, it celebrates at “los remedios” district during 6 days.
Those days are not anymore fixed ones and now, for each year, the days are different but normally it is always the last week of the month of april – if you decide to come, I suggest you to check out the official website of the town council to know the exact dates.
Except the place, the programs of the festivity also changed, there are more entertainment, more competitions and above all, its origin. In the beginning, it was a fair where people, inside their stand, sold their product and now, majority of those house shaped stands represent an organization, an association or simply a family in which only invited people can get in.
If you don’t have this invitation like me or like the other thousands of people, go to the information point located next to the “portada” (entrance) to know the stands with free entrance.
The spanish word “portada” means literally façade or front, for me it is the main entrance. It is very important since not only it welcomes every ones to get inside the fair but also it is one of the main attractions. Each year the decoration is different and it is very impressive because the main materials which are used are light bulbs and when the night comes, watch it lighted it is very amazing.
The other area where you may pass most of your time, it is the hell street (calle del infierno) where life is running until 3h in the morning. Here you will find full of entertainments because of the theme park. For people who like or curious to watch a bullfight, they can go to the bull place of Maestranza.
During day time, the weather is hot. In spite of this, it doesn’t prevent people to have a lot of fun but during night time, it is much more crowded. You will see a lot of people dressing in flamenco cloth and of course, you will see and hear people dance and sing to the rhythm of the flamenco and if you dare, you can participate.
About foods and drinks, you will have no problem since there are a lot of places, the typical foods are the spanish ham and churro, this last one particularly for the breakfast before to sleep or after to wake up served with hot chocolate. The typical drinks are vines called “manzanilla” and “vino fino” (both are a type of dry sherry) and the “rebujito”, a digestive which is a mix of the manzanilla and a fizzy drink with a little flavour of lima.
One advice, in spite that there are cameras, I will suggest you to take a careful look of your purse and things since there are a lot of pickpockets waiting an occasion to steal you.