April Fair, Sevilla
It's a huge structure representing each year one of the city’s monuments. It's the entrance point into the fair and traditionally the meeting point for visitors. In the end it becomes one of the most difficult places to meet anyone.
Esta gran estructura representa todos los años uno de los monumentos de la ciudad. Es el pricipal lugar de entrada a la Feria y tradicionalmente es el punto de encuentro. En realidad es uno de los lugares donde resulta más dificil encontrar a alguien al final.
Even if sometimes is not in April as it depends on where does the holy week takes place.
It is one of the most famous, but for me that I did not knew many people on sevilla, I just walked aorund watching it, too many people around to enjoy it. I am more fond of the little ones as Marbella, Fuengirola or Estepona ... that you know where to go, I know the places, and always more fun, but this is a personal opinion, as I said I did not knew anyone that time
I don't know if this was because of our short time in Sevilla, or our ignorance of the Spanish language, but the April Fair in Sevilla seemed not to be geared towards tourists. Once on the fairgrounds, we couldn't find any services at all. Don't get me wrong, it was very cool to be there, and we really enjoyed watching the festivities and colourful costumes, but if we do that again, we'll bring a lunch.
The Seville fair is celebrated on an huge open site (about 1500 x 700 meters), just out of the city center, to the south of the Los Remedios quarter, opposite of the Maria Luisa park. On this site, the Seville people and companies construct thousands of small, temporary “houses” of cardboard walls and canvas roofing, known as casetas. The result is an ephemeral city that only needs to last one week. The main entrance gate is a huge temporary cardboard monument that each year resembles one of the city's prominent buildings or sites and the streets are lit by hundreds of thousands of light bulbs and lanterns.
The Feria, where the natural beauty of the Sevillian girls and women is enhanced by the typical flamenca dresses, is an ideal place for cordiality and friendship amongst glasses of manzanilla wine (sherry), some tapas (small andalusian snacks) to eat, with singing an couples dancing Sevillanas (a specific version of the flamenco dance). The most important reason for going to the fair is just to have a good time with friends, enjoying it in a festive surrounding.
Seville’s April Fair was founded in 1846, surprisingly, by two none-sevillians, a Basque and a Catalan. The initial aim of these two industrious founders was no other than to improve business (trade and agriculture).
However, in a few years time the local people managed to change the character of the fair into something more festive. It has now converted to one of the mayor folkloric celebrations in Spain and one of the main tourist attractions of Seville.
Even so, the local people still do trade and close deals at the fair, still complying with the original intentions of the April fair.
The “casetas” are made of a metal base and then covered with a green or red pin-striped canvas, each stripe about 10 cm. wide. At the outside of the tent you will find banisters and little triangle-shaped flags. The flags crown the facade of the tent with a baroque style, and sometimes show the casetas' name or logo. Also required are striped curtains at the entrance with a small canvas roof.
The inside of the tents are divided into three parts, usually separated by curtains. The first is the noble part which can not have advertising and is usually decorated by the tenants. The decoration should camouflage the second part. The floor is generally made of wooden planks. In the noble part a floor is set up suited for dancing.
There are more than a thousand individual tents (casetas) but still there are so many petitions for casetas that must be rejected, that city officials start c
Next to the Feria you find a huge lunapark, called "Calle del Infierno" - Hell's street. When you walk around there you understand why it got this name. You can find merry go rounds but also some spectacular and impressive machinery that only seems to have the objective to get your head spinning, by going round and round and upside down.
The Feria is essentially a small city erected for less than one week. Over a month ago we stopped by to see the main gate almost finished, so work begins well before Semana Santa. In the "spirit of Los Remedios" (I'm kidding a bit on this one) it is set up in a grid with rows of casetas or square tents lining the streets which are named for famous bullfighters. There are of course places to eat, and a section of the grounds with rides and games. The afternoon is the time to see horses and most of the traditional dress of Feria goers. The night is the time for drinking and dancing until the sun comes up! As with all fairs almost anywhere in the world expect higher prices for just about anything including things outside of the grounds like hotel rooms and taxis. And while May is technically still spring, and a wonderful time in Sevilla, the end of Feria seems to mark the beginning of summer. This changes a bit this year with the early arrival of Semana Santa and thus the early Feria de Abril! (Text by Jeff Spielvogel)
For us it was so much fun to walk on the street in flamenco costumes, but this is what everyone do during the Feria week! We put on our flamenco dress in the Alcazar to take pictures, great fun!