Beginning two weeks after Easter in Spain, the Seville Fair is a celebration that takes place in Andalusia (home of the capital, Seville). From April 15th-21st this year, the festivities begin with a parade that consists of carriages and riders. The group of Seville’s prominent citizens are taken to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeders are united. This tradition has been a sight to see for over 150 years.
During the fair, a large area on the riverbank of the Guadalquivir River is adorned with many rows of tents that are set up for dancing, drinking, eating, and partying. These tents, or “casetas,” belong to those who are prominent in the town, clubs/organizations, friend groups, and political parties. Between the hours of 9PM-7AM is when most of the festivities take place. In addition to the tents, an amusement park is set up with rides and games for people to play.
On Monday night of the fair, it is tradition to consume fish for dinner (noche del pescaito). The celebration is officiated when the lights on the portada have been turned on. The week is then filled with a gathering to watch the alumbrao and then moved into the tents for meals. The entire night is to be spent at the Real. During this time, women will normally dress in gypsy/flamenco wear while the men wear the outfit of the farmworker.
If you plan on partaking in the festivities, travel smart. Parking nearby is not recommended. Instead, opt for other means of transportation like the bus or train. Even if a little bit of walking is required, you will be able to access the fair easier. Feel free to dress up! Nothing will get you into the spirit more than dressing traditionally like those around you. While the night is to be filled with the fun of drinking and dancing, be mindful that there are still strict rules when it comes to partying. The festivities are on a schedule and the tent curtains are to be open only during their designated times. Have fun, be safe, and experience the magic of the Seville Fair.