Sunday, May 22, 2011


Every spring (usually two weeks after Semana Santa/Easter) there is a weeklong party in Sevilla called Feria de Abril (Fair of April).  This year, however, since Easter fell so late there was only one week in between these two week long holidays and the Feria ended up being the first week in May.  But no matter when Feria occurs it is a full out stereotypical Spanish party.  The dress code for women is a traditional flamenco outfit complete with dress, mantilla (shall), big earrings, and a flower in the hair.  For the men it is a little more flexible, but they are still expected to dress up and suits are encouraged. 

Typical street in Feria.

People are free to ride horses around the fair grounds until 8 PM.

Typical sight at Feria.

Feria arch and lights.

Feria started out as a livestock fair where people could sell and buy animals but has since evolved into a celebration of pure Sevillan culture and even a fairground typical of a 4th of July celebration in the U.S. with over priced rides and fried food.  The only music and dancing you will see during la Feria is a style of flamenco called sevillanos.  The dance has four parts and once you learn it you can dance it to any sevillano song…however it has a lot of tricky footwork and each part is similar but with a slightly different order of steps.  I honestly don’t know how the women can dance all day in their heavy dresses considering the extreme heat that is characteristic of Feria.

Girls in their flamenco dresses on fair rides.

One of my friends in her flamenco dress!!

In the casetas this heat is even greater.  The casetas are private tents that can be rented, usually by a group of families, friends, coworkers, etc. and you need an invitation to get in (there is normally a guard at the entrance of each private caseta).  However there are also a few public ones that suffice to get a general feel for Feria, but the private ones are much nicer.  Each caseta has a bar and full time cooks where you can order typical Spanish food (like tortilla española) and drinks and each group can decide how to run their caseta, whether you buy tickets for food or pay with cash at the bar.  The drink of la Feria is rebujito, which uses a sweet sherry called Manzanilla (which tastes disgusting by itself) and mixes it with 7Up so it becomes a refreshing (and dangerous) drink.

Inside a public caseta.

Inside a private caseta.

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