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I Wonder Why...?

I will be writing about aspects of Spanish history and their traditions. I am a very curious person and have always needed to know "why" they do it, and "how" it came about. So over the years while living in Spain I have made a conscious effort to discover "el porque de las cosas" and I will be sharing them with you. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.

The Origins of the 'Feria de Abril' in Seville
10 April 2018 @ 12:52

Ever wondered why they celebrate the April Fair in Seville?

The origins of the April Fair date back to 1846 when councillors José María Ibarra and Narciso Bonaplata had the idea of holding an annual, three-day trading fair, to take place in April, for the purchase and sale of livestock. Once approved by Queen Isabella II, the first Fair was inaugurated 18 April 1847, at Prado de San Sebastián. Close to 25,000 people attended.



As time went by the fair became one of the most important fiestas on the city’s calendar, and changed from a trading to a social occasion. It was only interrupted for two years during the Civil War, and in 1973 it had to be moved to its current location on account of the large number of visitors. 

The fairground now covers 1,200,000 m2, divided into three different areas: La Calle del Infierno, El Real de la Feria and the car parks. The “Real” is divided into fifteen streets named after major figures from the world of bullfighting. On the back of the street signs you can read a short biography of the bullfighter in question. La Calle del Infierno is where all the fairground attractions and rides are.

During the Fair, the people of Seville make their respective marquees their homes, playing host to receive and entertain friends and family.

The marquees are simple and beautifully decked out. There is no shortage of Fino sherry from Jerez and Manzanilla sherry from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, ham, prawns, dancing, Sevillana music, clapping, guitars, and even bagpipes and Rocío drums... and one thing that should never, ever be lacking, is a good stew broth with a dash of sherry to make you feel like new...

The Seville Fair (Feria de Sevilla), also called the April Fair (Feria de Abril), is held a week or two after Easter and this year it kicks off at midnight on Saturday 14 April with the traditional turning on of the street and decorative lighting. Its entrance, decked out with thousands of bulbs and lamps is switched on, becoming a brilliant array of light. After endless days of happiness, luxury and stately traditions, horsemen and women, and rides in stunning carriages, the fair will come to an official close on the Saturday 21st April, at midnight, with a fireworks display on the banks of the Guadalquivir River.



At the fair you have to distinguish between private and public 'casetas' (marquees). Only members and guests can gain access to the former. If you know someone it will help, and you will be able to get in without problems.

Nevertheless, there are public marquees, and plenty of them. They are open to all from midday into the early hours of the morning. The private marquees can close whenever they choose.

At the majority of marquees, drinks are pre-paid with tickets on sale at windows within the marquee or at the bar itself.

Here is a list of the Public ‘casetas’ (marquees)  for 2018:

Casco Antiguo (calle Antonio Bienvenida, 97)
Nervión-San Pablo (calle Costillares , 22)
Sur-Bellavista (calle Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, 61)
Macarena-Norte (calle Pascual Márquez, 85)
Triana-Los Remedios (calle Pascual Márquez, 153)
Este (calle Pascual Márquez, 215).

PSOE Andalucía (calle Antonio Bienvenida, 79)
Partido Andalucista (calle Juan Belmonte, 196)
PP de Sevilla (calle Pascual Márquez, 66) 
La PCEra (calle Pascual Márquez, 9)
UGT (calle Antonio Bienvenida, 13)
CCOO Sevilla (Calle Pascual Márquez, 81).

Área de Fiestas Mayores (Calle Costillares, 13)
«La de to er mundo» (Calle Costillares, 77)
La Esmeralda (Calle Costillares, 82)
Los Formalitos (Calle del Infierno, junto a las Casas del Terror)
La Marimorena (Manolo Vázquez, 31).

Here is a map of the Fairground:

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