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Thursday, May 1, 2014 (read 2180 times)
The Seville Fairby David
The Seville Fair (often known as the April Fair or the Feria de Abril) takes place two weeks after Semana Santa in the Andalusian city of Seville. The fairgrounds are located in the centrally located Los Remedios district, next to the Guadalquivir River. The fair officially starts at midnight on the Monday two weeks after Easter Sunday. The Casetas, which are tents that are licensed out to prominent families, groups of friends, social clubs and businesses, come to life with each one hosting a special dinner for guests and visitors.
These canvas tents of varying sizes are constructed, put up by the city and then handed over to each “owner”. Each occupant then converts their tent into a little salon in which drinks and tapas are served. Each owner takes great care to ensure that their tent is equipped with a kitchen and bar area as well installing a sound system and, sometimes, a stage for live musicians. Unless you are a friend or family member of the caseta owner, you may not be allowed in. Fortunately, the Spanish are famous for being friendly, so getting into a caseta for some good food and music isn’t as hard as it may seem. In addition to the privately run casetas, there are also a handful of public Casetas where anyone can go in and have a great time.
Because this is the most important social event of the year in Seville, people take great care and time in preparing their attire. Many people choose to attend wearing traditional Sevillian clothes. Men will wear a traditional traje corto which consists of fitted trousers, a short cut jacket and a wide brimmed hat. Women wear faralaes or trajes de flamenca which we all recognize as the tight dresses with the enormous and wide ruffled bottom. Often times these dresses are colored with polka dots; something made famous in the opera Carmen.
This fair’s celebrations are divided in two parts: daytime and nighttime. During the day, you can observe the Paseo de Caballos, the horse and carriage parade that goes through the fairgrounds, take a stroll through the casetas or take a ride on a Ferris wheel. The famous Paseo de Caballos often coincides with the departure or return from the Maestranza bullring on the other side of the river. Since this is the best way to see and be seeing, the Elite and famous of Seville usually take this traditional form of transportation. The bullfights during the Feria are considered to be the most important of the season so you can count on the best toreros and toros showing up. When the sun goes down and the temperature is more comfortable, the townspeople crowd into the fairgrounds to sing, eat, dance and socialize in the streets until the very early hours of the morning.
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