The Spanish Language Blog

Seville's colorful fiesta

In the second week after Easter, Seville traditionally celebrates its colorful fiesta for one week; the Feria de Abril. During this traditional fiesta, the immense grounds situated in the 'Los Remedios' district transform into a collection of everything Andalusia stands for such as tapas, flamenco, horses, bulls and much more. Wander through this special fiesta and be immersed in an extraordinary Spanish and Andalusian culture.

The origins of the Feria de Abril date back to the year 1847. This was the year the first Feria de Abril was held. Initially it began as a livestock fair where prizes could also be won. Small tents, also called ''casetas,'' were placed so that the trade in which people were interested could be realized more in a private atmosphere. These tents grew in popularity because of their cozy and festive atmosphere. Then more and more services were added in the form of selling entertainment and food and drinks. In the year 1973, the former location became too small and moved to the current site in the "Los Remedios" neighborhood. Each year the Feria de Abril gained more and more fame and grew in popularity. To this day, it has become the largest traditional fiesta in Seville, and one of the largest traditional fiestas in Spain.

Prior to Monday night, also called the night of fish "Noche del Pescaíto," it is a tradition to eat fried fish, pescaíto frito, at dinner. The Feria de Abril then traditionally kicks off on Tuesday at midnight, when the thousands of lights on the gate and grounds come on. The lights stay on for six days and turn off again at midnight on Monday, followed by a huge fireworks display along the Guadalquivir River.

The grounds are decorated with paper lanterns, and the ground is covered with a yellow-colored sand that is also traditionally used in Seville for gardens and bull arenas. During this week, the grounds consist of more than 1,000 private and public tents. These are scattered throughout the various streets that bear the names of famous bullfighters. The private tents often belong to wealthier families or are shared with the neighborhood. Therefore, no two tents look alike and each one is unique. There is also a large fairground on the grounds with more than 500 attractions for young and old. The "fiestas" therefore go on well into the night and freeze the ordinary life of Seville during this one week.


 Walking through the streets of the Feria de Abril, you see people socializing, eating and drinking. Everywhere there is spontaneous Sevillanas dancing and in every corner a different flamenco song resounds. Tents have to stay open during the tour of the horses where horse and carriage, and riders ride by almost majestically. An atmosphere that feels Spanish.

The ladies look their best and wear the most diverse, colorful and striking flamenco dresses; green with polka dots, frills, purple and all equally beautiful. The flamenco dress goes extremely carefully with the flower in the hair, the jewelry one wears and the manila scarf (a large scarf with fringes used as a skip). The men wear what is known as a traditional short suit. The sombrero is also part of this, of course. The suit consists of a vest, vest, blouse with pleats or fringes and suspenders. The pants are long slacks under which boots with socks are worn. The colors of the suit consist mainly of dark shades because of the windblown dust of the streets.

Not only are the colors of the party overwhelming, but also all the food smells make the Feria de Abril a great success. It is common to eat tapas at the many tents, each with its own tapas specialty. One can enjoy many typical Andalusian dishes such as Andalusian gazpacho, the aforementioned fried fish ''pescaíto frito'', anchovies in vinegar ''boquerones en vinagre'' or many other tapas dishes. All this is done while enjoying a flute of beer or a glass of wine. Thus, the real atmosphere of Seville's colorful fiesta can be tasted.

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