Seville April Fair

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Every year in April there is a big celebration in Seville, it is called the Feria de Sevilla which takes place 2 weeks after Holy Week or Semana Santa. To the Sevillanos the feria is sacred, it is a time where the city stops for over a week, once you enter the fairgrounds you forget your worries and enjoy being with friends and family creating memories you will never forget.

 

It officially begins at midnight that Monday and finishes the following Sunday with spectacular fireworks at the Guadalquivir river.

The people of Seville love a good party so they set up up to 1,000 tents  across the Park of Maria Luisa in the Barrio de los Remedios.  These tents or 'casetas' are by invitiation only is who you know that gets you in.  Right next to the fair grounds in Calle del Infierno (Inferno Street) they set up a an area with horses, attractions and circus shows.

On day 1 it is know as the "Noche del Pescaito"  or Fish night, a variety of fish is served usually fried, from boquerones  (anchovy), calamari, salmorete (red mullet).  Then there is a variety of sides from cured hams like chorizo, serrano and iberico hams and cheeses.  The drink of choice is a fine Sherry wine called Manzanilla that is local to Andalucia, they also drink rebujito which is Sherry wine with soda and lots of ice.  After dinner everyone heads to the 'Portada'  a beautiful structure at the entrance, where the major of Sevilla officially lights up thousands of lights at midnight.    Then everyone dances sevillanas a folk dance to Seville that all the locals know.    After dancing and drinking some more,  everyone will head to the churro stands and party some more.

On day 2 you will find horse parades through the fairgrounds and beautiful women dressed in the most colorful and flamboyant dresses you have ever seen.  The men wear a suit called 'traje corto' tradicional gypsy suits looking very handsome in horseback.

The rest of the week is filled with bull fighting, horse show demonstrations, and amazing food from Caldo de Puchero a stew of chicken, beef, and pork with lots of vegetables, caldereta (beef stew), garbanzos con bacalao to salmorejo soup.   

if you are ever in Seville at this time of the year know that this is a celebration of the locals and most of the 'casetas' are private but there are a few public casetas where there is some serious partying going on there.  More and more they Sevillanos are being more welcoming to anyone with a curios spirit that wants to learn about their culture and the way they live.