Spain is a country known for a wealth of fantastic fests and fairs, such as La Tamborrada and the Barcelona Beer Festival. However, there is one particular fair that has a special place in my heart-- the Seville April Fair.
Seville is a Spanish city that stands at the lower reaches of the famous River Guadalquivir in the southwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula. The Seville April Fair is a traditional celebration that boasts fragrant orange blossom garlands and jasmine blooms, among many fun sightseeing activities and cultural experiences.
Throughout the days and nights, I experienced excited dancing, copious drinking, tons of delicious food, and many opportunities to make friends.
During my trip last year, I stayed for a total of two weeks, one of which spanned the entirety of the fair. The fair itself starts two weeks after Semana Santa and occurs in the massive fairground in Los Remedios near the river.
The festival itself was incredible. Throughout the days and nights, I experienced excited dancing, copious drinking, tons of delicious food, and many opportunities to make friends. The fair was nothing short of inviting and homey, but was also a spectacle in its own right, especially at night. The day typically starts off with carriage and horseback rides, as well as bullfighting events. At night, fairgoers ease into music, dancing, drinking, and eating. A massive amusement park or carnival also is in full swing during the Seville April Fair. If you don’t speak Spanish, it is recommended to seek out a city tour or English-language tour guide-- however, this fair is popular among foreigners, so this may not be completely necessary.
There’s no need to wear a traje de gitana, but I would recommend wearing some flowers in your hair for a flamenco vibe.
I encountered a number of casetas, or tents during the festival. Most of them are private, but some are open to the public and serve food and provide entertainment. The food is another great aspect of the fair that can’t be missed. Typical dishes include fried cuttlefish, fried dough, churros, and adobo marinated dogfish. The drinks never stop flowing either. The most popular drink I noticed during my experience in Seville’s April Fair was rebujito, a cocktail made from manzanilla sherry with Sprite.
There are a number of traditions that show Spanish culture on display during the Seville April Fair. The most noticeable is the way people will dress. Every woman there was wearing a traje de gitana, a bright and colorful ruffled gown. There’s no need to wear a traje de gitana, but I would recommend wearing some flowers in your hair for a flamenco vibe.
Seville’s April Fair originated in 1847 when Isabel II launched the very first fair as a way to sell livestock and celebrate a fruitful year. Today, you won’t see much livestock during the fair-- but the festival energy shows no sign of stopping. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes and plenty of cash for caseta access!
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