The Feria de Abril (April Fair) in Sevilla, Spain originated in the Nineteenth Century as a livestock exhibition. It has morphed into a celebration of all things Sevilla. There's a large fairground, which is lined with casetas (little houses) where all of Sevilla society gathers for a week to drink sherry, eat tapas, and celebrate being from Sevilla. Every day, the streets of the fairground feature parades of carriages, with horses decked out in silver and floral finery. And all Sevillian women wear their flamencas, the traditional dress of their Andalusian heritage. The fair is really for Sevillanos. Tourists are allowed into the fairgrounds, but all the casetas, except for a very few open to the public, are private. You can only get into a private one by invitation, which, if you ask me, is a very good reason to make friends with someone from Sevilla.
Three Andalusian girls before the bullfights at the Feria de Abril. Sevilla, Spain, April 2012. The Feria de Abril, or April Fair, in Sevilla is one of the great festivals of Spain. It started as, more or less, the equivalent of an American county fair, where all manner of livestock were on display and for sale. But now it has morphed into the great opportunity for all Sevillanos to get together, show off their latest finery, especially the Flamenca dresses of the women and the mantillas you see on the girls' heads here. It is also the start of the bullfight season. These girls were in the president's box at the bull ring, an honor reserved for the daughters of the local big shots. Beware though, if you go to the Feria de Abril, the Fair itself is mostly a closed affair. To get into most of the tents where food and drink are served you have to be invited by a local. There are just a few tents open to the public, in other words, the tourists. This is a closed affair for the locals. Nevertheless, go to the bullfights. Like Pamplona near the end of the season, this is the real deal. The ring will be full, the seats are very expensive, but I maintain, political correctness aside, that you have to go to at least one bull fight if you hope to understand Spain.
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