Welcome to the Feria de Abril en Sevilla! The April Fair in Seville, a cherished tradition that has evolved into a vibrant tapestry of culture and community. Let’s uncover the essence of the Feria and the exciting new horizons it unveils in 2024.

Origins April Fair in Seville

Seville’s Feria de Abril originated in 1846 as a livestock market conceived by José María Ybarra and Narciso Bonaplata. It was a humble livestock fair, providing a platform for farmers and traders to showcase their goods. It was officially inaugurated the following year and gradually evolved into a popular event, attracting livestock sellers, buyers, and traveling merchants. Over time, the fair transformed into a festive and recreational gathering, with dances organized in casetas and small platforms at the fairgrounds.

Today, it stands as a symbol of community, camaraderie, and the enduring spirit of the city, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Seville and Andalusia.

The “Casetas”

The casetas at Seville’s Feria de Abril are modern versions of the candle-lit platforms used in early livestock fairs. They’ve evolved into lively hubs for socializing among Sevillanos. These structures, typically composed of specific-sized modules with decorated canopies, host social gatherings. Activities include dancing, singing, and enjoying traditional dishes with drinks like Fino or Manzanilla sherry wines or a “rebujito” (sherry wine with Sprite). While the front area is visible to outsiders, the back part houses facilities like kitchens, bars, and toilets. With over a thousand casetas owned by families, societies, companies, and neighborhoods, many are privately owned. Visitors are advised to accompany locals to access them. Some casetas, especially those representing neighborhoods and political parties, offer free admission and entertainment until late into the night.

It is all about the polka-dot dress code and “sevillanas” music!

Sevillian women have a tradition of wearing flamenco dresses to the feria. Initially, these dresses were simple and affordable, often adorned with polka dots, worn by women accompanying traders and dealers at livestock fairs. Over time, these dresses, with their long skirts and ruffles, gained popularity for their flattering silhouette. The Seville Exhibition of 1929 further popularized the flamenco dress, making it essential attire for the wealthier classes during the feria. The dress has evolved with various neckline styles, a fitted waist, and a skirt that opens like a flower. Accessories like flowers in the hair, shawls, and earrings complement the outfit. Today, the flamenco dress remains a significant part of Sevillian women’s fashion, blending tradition with modern trends. This year, ladies are wearing flowers, usually carnations, on the top of their head in the middle of their peinados (hairdos).

Sevillanas, the typical song and dance of April Fair in Seville, originated from ancient compositions called “seguidillas castellanas.” Over time, they evolved into the form we know today. There are various types of sevillanas, classified by their lyrics and themes: regionalist, love songs, rocieras, corraleras, etc. They can be danced in pairs, with some exceptions where more than two people perform the steps simultaneously.

Check out this Spotify playlist to get into the mood.

Maestranza and Bullfighting

April Fair in Seville 2024
Maestranza Bull ring entrance at the April Fair in Seville 2024

In Seville, bullfighting is intense, starting with the paseíllo and continuing long after the last bull is slain. The passion persists in the streets, bars, and the April Fair, where friends gather to discuss the day’s events. For Sevillanos and the bullfighting world, bullfighting is a deeply cherished tradition, a ritual of immense pride. The expectant hush, ovations, and respect for matadors and brave bulls demonstrate the reverence for this art.

“Passion for Seville Fair”

That’s this year motto. The Seville Tourist Office has put together a nice website for this year’s fair that includes more information, gastronomy tips and a fair’s map. Check it out!

If you want to plan a trip for next year April Fair in Seville (or any other itinerary anytime in Spain) feel free to contact me and set a meeting or tour.

As the sun sets on another day of revelry, the April Fair in Seville 2024 stands as a testament to Seville’s spirit and boundless creativity. So, come join us as we dance through the streets of Seville, where every step is the magic of the Feria de Abril. ¡Viva la Feria!