The Feria de Abril is Seville’s traditional spring fair and general celebration, and starts two weeks after Easter Monday (this year April 21 to 26), officially at midnight on Monday with the alumbrao, the switching on of the fairground lights, although in practice people may go to the fairground as early as the Saturday. Monday evening is traditionally the pescaito, the fried fish dinner. The fair runs until Sunday, and finishes with fireworks at midnight.
Originally founded in 1847 as a horse and cattle fair on the Prado San Sebastian, the feria has been held on a purpose built site in Los Remedios since 1973. The streets are lined with little stripy marquees (casetas) where you can eat and drink, and decked with lights and paper globes strung from poles. Fast food and candy stalls are much in evidence, and adjacent to the fairground is an area known as the Calle del Infierno, Hell Street, where you can find the funfair and attractions.
During the day the big draw is the parade of horses and carriages, all groomed and polished and spick and span, the men dressed in the traditional traje corto (short jacket, tight trousers and wide brimmed hat), the women in flouncy polka dot flamenco dresses. Later, many of the participants will head off to the bullring. Bullfighting is still popular in Seville, and the period around feria is the main bullfighting season. The bullfights are also an important social and business occasion, and everybody who’s anybody will be there.
From the evening onwards, though, it’s party time at the fairground. There’s lots of eating and drinking and dancing of Sevillanas, a local flamenco style folk dance. You should try rebujito, a mixture of fino sherry and 7Up, which is the fair’s traditional tipple, though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and fried fish, prawns and puchero (a meat stew) to ward off hangover. For those with the stamina the party goes on until dawn. Fortify yourself with chocolate and churros on your way home.
To get to the fairground you can take a taxi (which have special – higher – rates this week), one of the regular bus services 6 or C1/C2, or the special Feria bus service that runs from the Prado San Sebastian. It’s also possible to walk, especially if you’re in the southern part of the city.