Feria Seville

Seville Feria de Abril

One of the best things about living in Seville was that there was always a festival or celebration of sorts going on. When I picked up and moved my life to Spain in the Spring of 2015 I arrived to Seville on the first of April.  This was the first day of Semana Santa, their Easter Holy week (a week of 24 hour parades) and ended the month of April with a week-long celebration known as Feria de Abril.

A little history….

The first Seville Fair dates back to 1847 and was a livestock gathering that predominant Spanish families attended. The fair and celebrations became more popular each year until it reached it’s peak in the 20s and is now the fair that we know it as today. Over 1,000 casetas, or small private rooms, are constructed to house parties of families, political groups, or groups of friends. As a foreigner if you get invited to a private caseta you are considered a lucky one. For other foreigners they have a few public tents as well.

As a foreigner if you get invited to a private caseta you are considered a lucky one.

Feria de Abirl
The week long fiesta starts on a Saturday night with the lighting of the fairs entry gate- when I was there in 2015 it also happened to be my birthday. Nice way to celebrate the big 2-7, eh? After a nice birthday dinner at my hostel a group of us made the mile long trek along the Guadalquivir River to the fair grounds. It was like going back in time. The men wore suits and the women were dressed in the typical Sevillan garb of brightly colored flamenco dresses, big hoop earrings and large flowers that sat on the top of their tightly drawn buns. The fair was….crazy. Children running around, teenagers indulging in too much manzanilla- the local sherry, and grandparents showing off their casetas to passerbys.
The first night we explored the grounds and took in all of the sights and smells of Feria. We ended up in a public caseta and drank our fair share of rebujito- manzanilla mixed with sprite- a dangerous concoction. We sat and drank and watched people of all ages dance Sevillanas- a regional dance that locals seem to be born knowing. After we had had enough we went over to the La Calle del Infierno- Hells street- where a massive carnival (as we know it in America) was. Rickety rides, cotton candy, and fair games covered the streets. The most amazing view of Feria was seen from the top of the ferris wheel.

Fiesta season kicks it up a notch as Seville welcome Spring with Feria.

Feria Gate
Later in the week I got invited to a private caseta by the owner of the hostel that I was volunteering at. What a unique and memorable experience. We went to the fair mid day and were there until the wee hours of the morning. Those hours were filled with Spanish tapas, rubujito, Sevillanas lessons, flamenco, and lots of drunken Spanish speaking (fun fact, did you know that it’s proven that you are 3x better at a foreign language when you’re drunk!).  The fair goes on 24 hours a day for 7 days. I don’t know how the Spanish do it! I am always up for a good party but there were people in their 80s who were out-partying me. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up early in the morning and see a family of 6 walking home from the fair after being there all night- children and grandparents included. It is an amazing celebration of family and friends and Spanish culture.
 If you have the opportunity to attend, it’s a must!

Photo by Deb Melillo

Photo by Deb Melillo

Photo by Deb Melillo

Photo by Deb Melillo

Photo by Deb Melillo

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Seville Feria de Abril

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