Seville - La Feria de Abril

From Humble Beginnings to a Grand Festival

In 1847, La Feria de Abril was nothing more than a cattle fair that took place on the grounds of Prado de Sebastian. Spaniards love a good party so the next year, three marquees appeared at the fair where locals were able to socialize. These tent structures became known as ‘Casetas’. The Casetas grew in numbers every year until the 1920s when La Feria de Abril became the city’s biggest festival. In 1973, the Feria was moved to its current location, Parque de María Luisa in Barrio de los Remedios. Known as ‘Real de la Feria’, this new location is large enough to become a city in its own right for the week of the festival. It is reported that over one thousand temporary ‘Casetas’ are now erected every year so that the Sevillanos can celebrate their beloved April Fair.

Celebration of the Year

If you ever have the chance to be in Spain in the end of April, be sure to visit Seville, the Andalusian capital, for the Celebration of the Year. The seven day Seville Fair starts at midnight on day one with the alumbrado (the lighting inauguration) and if you are lucky, you can enjoy the first great gastronomic gathering called the “Pescaito Supper.” The signature dish of this opening meal is “Pescaito” frito (fried fish). Be sure to treat yourself to a Rebujito, the drink of choice for La Feria which is a cocktail made from manzanilla sherry, famous in the south of Spain, with a good dose of lemonade or soda. This refreshing easy drink is sold in jugs to share.

During the day horses can be found everywhere, decorated in colorful garb and tack. People ride horses performing tricks for the audiences and horse-drawn carriages dressed in traditional wear parade through the streets. Music and dancing can be heard and seen throughout La Feria. Women dressed in their breathtaking flamenco finery dancing the ‘Sevillanas’, a variation of flamenco unique to Seville. The day time is also a good time to eat and take in the crowds of the festival. When night falls the lights of the festival turn on and the main gate, or puerta, lights up the night in a spectacular show. Dancing and drinking begin when night falls, drawing in a younger crowd.

La Feria would not be complete without the “Corrida de Toros”(bullfighting) which plays an important part in the festivities. After Semana Santa (holy week) there is a “corrida” every day until the end of La Feria. It is truly a treat to see the best action when the most famous “Toreros” (bullfighters) come to town and provide an exciting show.

Flavors of La Feria de Abril: