Light, colour, and a lot of joy. Every year, two weeks after the Semana Santa (Holy Week), Sevilla is taken over by its 'Feria de Abril'.
Seville’s Feria de Abril begins the night of the “alumbrao”, the inaugural moment when all the fairground lights are lit. This is also the night the traditional “pescaíto frito” (fried fish) is tasted in the stands.
For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas. These casetas usually belong to prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, clubs, trade associations and political parties. Every day there are crowds partying and dancing sevillanas, drinking Sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, and eating tapas.
After a week of constant celebration, the Fair concludes with a great fireworks display over the Guadalquivir River.
One of the most common drinks of the Feria is the Wine Manzanilla and Manzanilla of La Guita is a must in this celebration. This wine is notable for its pale straw yellow colour, its freshness, delicacy and salinity with floral notes. On the palate it is outstandingly smooth and lightly structured with a fine minerality. This wine is the perfect match for any sort of aperitif: ham, cheese, preserves, or pates.
Interesting Facts about the Feria de Abril:
Founded as a cattle fair in 1846.
Manzanilla is the wine of the Feria, 1.5 million bottles are consumed.
The unique style of the “casetas” or marquees were designed by the painter Gustavo Bacarisas.
It takes up a space of 75,000 square metres and has 1,051 casetas.
The paper lanterns of the Feria de Abril date back to 1877 when Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit.
The women of the peasants were the inspiration for the creators of the flamenco dress, as they realised that the tight-fitting gowns and frilly hems stylised the female body.
1990 was the only year in which there were no horses due to African horse sickness.
The Fair takes place at the Real de la Feria, named after the coachmen charged one real for transporting the fairgoers to the venue.