In this blog, I would like to tell you something about the April Festival in Seville! Here, we call it Feria de Abril, and it is one of the (if not THE) most fun weeks of the year! The Feria is usually two weeks after the Holy Week (Semana Santa in Spanish).
The first Feria was held in 1846, and only lasted 3 days. But it wasn’t the party that it is now; it used to be a cattle inspection where bulls, oxen, rams, stallions and other animals were exhibited. Around the exhibition, stalls were set up where fruit and vegetables were sold.
The Feria Today
The Feria looks and feels entirely different now! There’s no longer any cattle that is being exhibited, but a gigantic gate called the “portada” which serves as the entrance to the party area. The portada is different every year, and as it is assembled by hand, it takes a while to set up. It’s always a sight to behold! This year, the design is inspired by the Lope de Vega theatre (also known as the Sevillian Pavillion) which was built for the World Exposition of 1929. These days, the Feria is held in the district called Los Remedios; south of Triana and across the river. The whole party area is remade into a spectacle of light where people eat, drink, dance and party for a whole week.
What is there to see?
As time passed, the stalls with vegetables and fruit have evolved into little tents called “casetas” where people come together to eat and drink. Many of these casetas are private and are part of an association so only members are welcome. However; all the casetas of political parties are open to all public! Traditionally, you only drink something called “Rebujito” during the Feria, which is a mixture of sherry and 7Up (with ice cubes of course!), and it does wonders against the heat! However, if you start drinking anything besides rebujito during the day, the hangover hits you even harder. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
They even build a fun fair every year, equipped with roller coasters and many other attractions where young and old can enjoy themselves.
What do the partygoers look like?
People go to the Feria in their best clothing, so if you enter the party grounds wearing flip-flops, it’s very obvious you’re a tourist. Put on something fancy and blend in with the crowd! Men usually wear a suit, and women mostly put on a beautiful flamenco dress. Do you want to buy your own flamenco dress? Robin will tell you exactly how in this blog! Those that own a horse will go to the Feria on it and park it next to a caseta. That way, it looks like they have a lot of money. Those that can afford coming to the party in a horse-drawn carriage definitely have money. It’s all about appearance!
On the last day of the Feria, the party is ended by a huge fireworks display.
So when’s the party?
The Feria this year will start on the 4th of May until the 11th, so if you’re in Seville during this time; do come to Los Remedios and party with us!
More information? Take a look at the website of the Feria de Abril.