When the spring is almost in the air and Seville smells like orange blossom, the April Fair takes place, a world-famous fiesta which is full of grace and color.
Its origins date back to 1846 when Narciso Bonaplata and José María de Ybarra signed a proposition which demanded to celebrate an annual festivity. From that moment on, it has become the most emblematic fiesta around Seville – where, during an entire week, either get-togethers or friends are the center of attention.
The sceneries are formed by several stalls, distributed all over the streets which are densely packed crushed rocks one. The stalls are decorated by flowers, pennants and paper lanterns.
These stalls belong to families, groups of friends, associations or entities, and that’s why the entrance is restricted to their members and guests. They usually have a tablao or a dancing area (here’s a good location for flamencos outside of the festival) along with a bar or areas where people usually meet each other.
This fiesta lasts six days; it kicks off Monday night when local people meet within their stalls to have dinner while enjoying the traditional “pescaito frito (fried fish)”. At 11 p.m. the “alumbrado” takes place when huge wooden arches (improvised also every year for the occasion) flood the local streets with colorful bulbs and paper lanterns which means that the holiday has already started. Of course, this does not prevent some families from an earlier celebration, and they usually start partying that Friday which previously comes before the holiday.
Every day, the local people come in the middle of the morning, to enjoy the eye-catching Paseo de Caballos (Walk of Horses) where riders or horsewomen, with their typical suits show their talent and their horses or where the nicest horse hitches usually color the showground.
A bit of advice: leave your backpacks and larger luggage at the hotel or place where you’re staying, else you risk to lose it in the crowd and is a nuisance to worry about constantly. I actually got my backpack with a special safety strap that just ties around my waist and arm and makes the backpack hard to remove from me. Check out the best carry-on pack listings on Rangermade.
Almost every Sevillian, in spite of his/her age will have the traditional flamenco suits on. They will spend the day dancing and singing flamenco, eating and drinking the golden Fino de Jerez (a local wine) or the Manzanilla.
In the afternoon, at 5.00 p.m, the most important bullfights of the year are held. And after that, a long night full of songs and dance awaits. It generally ends up with the traditional breakfast known as the chocolate con churros (chocolate with crullers) which can be served within the local bars and food stands along the streets.
The fair ends on Sunday at 11 p.m. when its splendid night lighting stars in and the fireworks show marks its closing ceremony. This way, a colorful and ephemeral spectacle comes to an end, expecting for another year to light up the Sevillian people’s days.