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Spain Savvy Culture Corner: Seville’s vibrant Spring Fair

There are many words we could use to describe Seville’s Spring Fair but to me, the most effective word by far is VIBRANT.  La Feria is the culmination of everything descriptive of the Andalusian culture packed into one week-long event that will have you absolutely reeling.

This post will be riddled with Spanish words, but that’s part of the fun!  There is a whole, special vocabulary related to the Fair and Spain Savvy will teach them all to you.

The Feria is truly a photographer’s dream, the delight of any party person, a fantastic place to sample Andalusian cuisine, and the ideal place for anyone interested in the arts (fashion, music, dance, even interior design!) It is a feast for all the senses and I guarantee you will never experience anything like it anywhere in the world.

The Fair takes place every year exactly two weeks after Holy Week, to allow for the city to recover from THAT event, which is a whole other post.  It almost always happens in the month of April, which is why it’s also known locally as the Feria de Abril.  It begins officially with the alumbrao (lighting) of the main gate and the farolillos (paper lanterns), which has a different theme every year, and the traditional pescaito (fried fish) dinner on the first night for the members of the associations that comprise the tents or casetas. Thus begins 7 full days of non-stop partying complete with flamenco dancing (almost always the traditional Sevanillas), a little rebujito drinking (a mix of manzanilla sherry wine and 7-Up) and a whole lot of postureo (showing off).  Who’s got the best ruffled dress and mantoncillo?  Who can dance the best?  Who has the prettiest horse and buggy?  Who has the best food in their tent?  This is all up for discussion throughout the week when time seems to stop in Seville and everyone heads to La Real.

With the history of the fair (which was first held in 1847) rooted in agricultural trade, horsemanship is the highlight and there are bullfights at the bullring every day.  The fair used to be held in Seville’s city center at what is now a park, and today has huge fairgrounds in the Los Remedios neighborhood.  There are over 1000 tents neatly organized in streets named after bullfighters and even includes an entire carnival area for the kiddies.

Here are two blog posts also covering this topic that we always recommend our guests read if they are planning on coming to Seville for the Spring Fair:

Cat Gaa’s insider’s look at the Fair for tourists from her popular blog Sunshine and Siestas

Fiona Flores Watson’s most helpful guide to the Fair from Andalucia.com

Feria unfortunately has an unfairly poor reputation for being non-friendly to tourists but Spain Savvy aims to change that.  Contact us to plan your trip around Feria and we will personally make sure you have a spectacular time.

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