With Semana Santa out of the way, Seville is now gearing up for its legendary April fair, which this year regardless of the name, basically gets underway in Could. It will take location among Could 4th and Could 11th.

Seville resident Ayan Ajanaku lets us in on how greatest to celebrate Spain’s popular ferias.

What is a feria?

Feria, as you could possibly have guessed, indicates fair in English and is a week-lengthy occasion celebrated at a diverse time of year for every single city and town, mainly in the south of Spain.

Most of these fairs are commonly celebrated through the spring or autumn, but there are some in the summer time. If you are familiar with the American notion of a fair: junk meals, roller-coasters, games and booze, you will come across the Spanish version not a lot diverse. Like most items in Spain although, it is steeped in a distinct tradition all its personal. So no matter whether you are arranging to attend or have accidentally stumbled into an Andalusian city through feria (and discovered every thing that is not inside a stone’s throw of the fairgrounds closed), here’s a rapid guide that covers some of the extra one of a kind conventional elements to get you in the spirit!

Photo: AFP


Most towns and cities have a fair ground location exactly where casetas or substantial tents are erected each and every year and rented to regional organizations, restaurants and organizations. Ninety % of what you will see when you step by way of the colourfully tiled archway (the signature entry point for all fairgrounds) in any feria is blocks and blocks of casetas, in front of a backdrop of roller-coasters and attractions.

Study Much more: 14 factors why you need to pay a visit to Seville this year

The casetas include bars exactly where meals and drinks are served, a dance floor and tables. There are no entrance restrictions or costs, anybody can enter the fairgrounds, any caseta they decide on and partake get pleasure from the meals and drink. The exception to this rule, interestingly sufficient pertains to the city which also has the biggest feria, Feria de Abril or the Seville Feria. Everyone can enter the fairgrounds, but there are handful of public casetas in the Seville Feria, most are privately owned, bought by households, social groups and organizations who have restricted their casetas to respective members.

For this explanation most Andalusians will inform you that “Feria de Sevilla es para los Sevillanos”, which sums it up.  Feria de Abril is a spectacle to see regardless, but not as a lot exciting unless you know an individual or ideally extra than 1 individual who will grant you entrance to their caseta(s).  Luckily all of the cities and substantial towns in Andalusia celebrate feria, and really handful of have private casetas, so you have numerous other possibilities to expertise feria if you are not “properly connected” in Sevilla.


Ayan in her traje de flamenco.

So you have noticed the beautiful ladies in the beautiful dresses and are either considering (based on what type of girl you are) do I have to do all that? Or how do I do that? No you do not have to break the bank and acquire a 200€-500€ “traje de flamenco” to attend, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say the traje is a substantial aspect of the expertise.

For me, it is 1 of the only occasions of year I truly make an work to be fancy (other than weddings), so it is a good alter of pace. Yep the dresses are costly, most natives have at least two or 3 (that they’ve accumulated more than the years) and rotate them all through the week. If you are a non-native like myself you could possibly be fortunate sufficient to have pals about your size who will loan you their dresses to put on. In my expertise this has been an excellent selection, but you can also hit up Humana (the Goodwill or Salvation Army of Spain) through feria season and you are bound to come across anything south of 100€.

And do not neglect your complementos! The standard flowers, earrings and bracelets are a should if you are wearing a traje, but these can be discovered at any of the bazaars. In numerous cities, ladies do not commence to put on their trajes till soon after the second or third day of feria.

If you have been 1 of the ladies who stated, “do I have to do all that?” there’s excellent news: dressy casual attire is also fully proper and you will blend suitable in, as half of the ladies will be wearing the very same. In some towns you will see the style of dress leaning extra towards casual for these who opt not to put on a traje, but dressy casual is a safer selection if you are unsure.

Considering that a lot of the walking pathway is dirt, put on heels at your personal danger, low wedges or flats are a safer decision considering that you will also be spending numerous hours on your feet. Final but not least, if you are a guiri and dress in a traje be prepared for a lot of consideration, Spainards really like to see foreigners in the traje de flamenco!

As usual, the guys who will be admiring you have it a lot a lot easier, the conventional traje de corto is only worn by horse riders and carriage drivers. Hence your typical guy just wears button down shirts and slacks or jeans.  

Meals and drink 

Pescaito frito or fried fish is the most standard meals at feria menus also include all of the other standard Spanish foods, jamón, montaditos and so on and you will come across the meals rates to be slightly greater than usual, as you’d possibly anticipate.  

Amongst the casetas you will see cotton candy (candyfloss), churros, buñuelo, and hamburger stands if you are just searching for a rapid snack or sweets. Just make positive you are not searching for higher top quality Spanish cuisine, no 1 goes to feria to consume. It is a quickly meals atmosphere, so the meals is not normally speaking of the highest top quality.

Rebujito is the standard alcoholic beverage of feria, it is a dry white sherry referred to as manzanilla that is mixed with Sprite. Rebujito is consumed in tiny pretty much shot size glasses that make it appear fully impotent alcohol smart, but underestimate it and you are positive to wake up with a hangover you will under no circumstances neglect. Beer, as often, is commonplace as properly, and if you didn’t currently know, CruzCampo is the beer of the South.


Lady dancing Sevillanas. Photo: mrskyce/Flickr 

1 of the coolest components of feria for me is Sevillanas. Sevillanas is a conventional dance that ladies and guys do with each other, that is sweet and somewhat straightforward. Sweet primarily simply because when was the final time you saw a lady and man dancing with each other in true life? Sevillanas reminds me of a nation or conventional dance that you’d see at a cotillion possibly. Most girls commence to find out Sevillanas from the time they’re seven or so, and surprisingly sufficient, it is a dance that at least half of the male Sevillanos I polled know as properly which is quite impressive. 

After you have heard a Sevillanas song, you will under no circumstances neglect it simply because they’re all the very same. Just after two hours of hearing it and not becoming capable to dance Sevillanas, if you are like me you will possibly commence to go mad from boredom, and that is when you commence searching for casetas with modern pop music. There are normally a handful of and soon after a specific hour are the equivalent of a club. If you have got the initiative although, there are Sevillanas classes in most cities and for these extra coordinated amongst us, I know of a handful of folks who’ve discovered it just by watching youtube videos.

This post initially appeared on Las Morenas de España,  an online community that is redefining the black expertise in Spain. The brand seeks to give info, inspiration and encouragement for folks of colour living right here or interested in moving to the nation.