Guide To Spain's Seville Fair

The Seville Spring Fair or "Feria de Sevilla" is surely Spain's most colourful and exciting fiesta ...

seville fair

If your idea of Spain is sultry, dark-eyed beauties dressed in colourful, spotted, flamenco dresses, and dashing men mounted on elegant steeds, then Andalucia's famous Seville April Fair is definitely for you ...

This is when, two weeks after Easter week, or Semana Santa, the south-west of Seville city is chock-a-block full of gorgeous girls in polka-dot dresses, handsome men in tight trousers, short, fitting jackets, and cordob s hats, and all of them singing and dancing, night and day, practically non-stop, for 6 days.

I think Seville's Feria is about the most spectacular of Spain's fiestas. It's so glamorous and colourful, attracting celebrities from not only Spain, but also the rest of the World, yet at the same time offering unequalled pleasure and entertainment to all who are keen to join in.

Surely, nowhere else will you find such a heady mixture of a beautiful city, a romantic atmosphere, and an attractive people who have the ability to pace themselves and keep going for 6 days and nights!

But, Seville's April Fair didn't start out this way ...

how the feria de seville started

The Fair of Seville started life as a simple agricultural market when, in 1847, Queen Isabela II gave permission for a cattle fair to be held in the city of Seville.

Of course, Andalucian's are quick to use any excuse to enjoy a sing and dance and, during the agricultural market event, the streets regularly became packed with locals ready for a good old Sevillian knees-up.

Originally, proud farmers would build temporary shelters in which to house and show off their wonderful live-stock.

But, over the years, these shelters became the casetas - or marquee-type tents - of to-day, the cattle no longer arrived, but the nearly week-long partying of the Sevillanos remained and increased.

You'll find over 1,000 casetas arranged along twelve of Seville's streets, and it's inside these that much of the merrymaking occurs.

Unfortunately, most of the casetas are privately owned, entrance being invitation-only, although there are now also a few public ones.

There's a spectacular amusement park - the calle de Infierno, or Hell Street - with a brightly-lit gateway. And daily bullfights, processions, and equestrian displays are also on offer throughout the week.

a typical day at the seville fair

The Feria de Sevilla starts on a Monday, two weeks after Easter week ... The thousands of lights of the fairground's gateway are switched on at midnight, and 6 days of merrymaking begins, not to end until the following Sunday.

Frankly, I don't know how the locals manage to keep going throughout this week of non-stop celebrating. Perhaps it's in their genes! One thing's for sure, they certainly know how to pace themselves, and don't need the help of designer drugs ... After all, they're old-hands at partying and pleasure-seeking!

Mornings is the time to show yourself off on horseback or in a traditional horse-drawn carriage ... if you're lucky enough to own horses and/or a carriage.

If not, it can be just as enjoyable strolling through the streets and admiring those taking part in the fine equestrian procession - there's sure to be a good sprinkling of celebrities and high society.

The beautiful stallions drawing the carriages are, more-often-than-not, decked out with colourful head-gear, and seem as keen to show themselves off as their passengers.

Those without a carriage will simply ride their steed - men up front, and ladies behind sitting side-saddle.

Once you've spent the morning showing yourself off and weighing up the competition, it's time to decide whether or not you have sufficient energy to enjoy any of the attractions taking place later in the day ... perhaps a bullfight or a flamenco display.

Around 10 pm at night, partying begins in earnest in the casetas. Ladies tend to be dressed in traditional flamenco outfits, complete with dangly earrings, though the men will often have changed into less formal gear.

There'll be singing, flamenco dancing, drinking and eating tapas until the following morning - if you can stand the pace!

quick links to our other pages about seville

Want to learn more about the colourful, dashing city of Seville?... Then check out these other pages ...

Return from seville fair to top tour of spain home page.


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