Feria de Abril 2012 – A Seville Festival that’s Highlight of its Social Calendar:
Two weeks after Easter, life in Seville swings across the river to the fairground for the Feria de Abril, Seville’s annual Spring Festival. After the week-long sombre observation of Semana Santa (Holy Week), Feria de Abril comes as a relief for the the people of Seville to let their hair down for a week of fun and festivities.
Feria de Abril
The Feria Seville started as a livestock trading fair in 1847 when Queen Isabel II gave her approval for two town councillors to organize this fair. Over the years it grew and evolved into one of the most popular Seville festivals.
The fairground, on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River, covers a vast area and is filled with hundreds of private and public “casetas”, brightly coloured tents that are hosted by various groups, including the aristocratic Sevillan families, neighbourhood groups, clubs, trade associations and political parties. Some of these marquees are accessible by “invitation-only” affairs, but there are the larger casetas that are open to the public and where you can go to enjoy a meal, drink and the entertainment. Pretty much like the Oktoberfest tents in Munich, you choose a tent that has the right feel for you.
Feria Sevilla Events
If you’re travelling to Seville during Feria de Abril, be aware that most Sevillanos take a week’s holiday during Feria Seville. This round-the-clock week-long Seville festival includes daily midday parades of horses and decorated carriages as they make their way through the city to the fairgrounds. Breeders and bullfighters meet at the Plaza de Toros de Maestranza which comes to life every afternoon at 5:30pm. The bullfights during Feria Seville are considered the best ones of the bullfighting season and the top toreros from all over Spain come to show off their skill here. As night falls and more people pour into the fairgrounds, the atmosphere transforms into a giant funfair. Flamenco music and chatter fill the tents as people eat, drink and dance the night away.
Feria de Abril is the highlight of Seville’s social calendar and Sevillanos dress up in their finery for the occasion. As Lord Byron once said “Seville is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women” and at the Feria Sevilla you’ll see gorgeous Sevillanas dressed in colourful flamenco-style dresses called “farales”. The men are dressed in traditional “traje de corto” (short jacket, tight trousers and boots).
Feria de Abril is increasingly becoming an international attraction with more visitors coming to this Seville festival than ever before. If you’re planning on joining in the fun, be sure to book your Seville hotel early.
Event: Feria de Abril 2012
Dates: April 24 – 29, 2012
Map of Seville: