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Sevilla's Incredible Fair!

In search of warmer lands we went to Seville, historic capital of Andalusia. The first thing we heard at the airport was that there was the Traditional Sevillian Fair for three more days. This event, which dates back to the 19th century, is undoubtedly the most expected by the people of Seville during the whole year. Their daily life is modified during the week of the fair: working hours and public transportation schedules change.
Among all similar fairs that takes place in different parts of Spain throughout the year, Seville’s is one of the most famous and preferred by the inhabitants of the country. In the hostel I stayed, there were visitors from all over Spain who came just for the colorful event.
For me it is difficult to describe the April’s fair. From the airport bus to the city, in the center of Seville we noticed a lot of women in the typical Andalusian flamenco dresses with bright colors, specially red and ruffles on the skirts and sleeves.
Men were in strict formal suit, usually white shirt and jacket. And this is one of the first characteristics of the fair, Sevillians of all ages take their best clothes to attend. It was easy to differentiate the foreigners from the locals: I was wearing my T-shirt and jeans and didn't clash and a large number of tourists who attended were not aware either or had no access to the dress code.
The event normally takes place in the neighborhood of Los Remedios, on the other side of the city center, crossing the Guadalquivir. There is a gigantic terrain destined to the event. People arrive in every possible way, from elegant horse-drawn carriages to the public bus or even walking.
The fair takes place in booths that are built only for that week, construction and management is sponsored by different sources, from families, businesses to government entities. Most are elegantly adorned with Andalusian motifs both inside and out, the streets are widely illuminated by thousands and thousands of electric lights. Actually, one of the most striking things that I saw was the door that welcomed everyone to the fair and it changes every year,

Upon arrival I noticed that unfortunately the vast majority of booths are private, this means that it could only access with a prior invitation from the owners of the booth. However, a few booths were opened to the public and I entered without thinking.
The atmosphere inside was full of joy, flamenco style music predominated with the traditional Sevillanas and also the Rumba, but in a few of them the flamenco alternated with the inevitable reggaetón, a rhythm that the sevillanos dance sometimes in a very peculiar way, alternating the "perreo" moves with the flamenco palms, an image that only those who are there will fully understand. Groups of live flamenco music are also very common.
One of the things that caught my attention was the great variety of attendees of all ages that are seen at the fair enjoying in the same way. In the booths I could see from very old people to young people, almost in equal quantity, dancing sevillanas late at night. In fact, when I left on Friday, after 2 a.m. I could still see men and women of similar ages to my grandparents getting off the bus to the fair!
The most common drink at the fair is the "rebujito", a cocktail made with "manzanilla", white wine from the region and 7-up soft drink with lots of ice. It was sold inside and outside the booths and prepared in the streets by clandestine vendors. I was not confident by the street vendors so I bought my rebujito inside a booth. The prices started from approximately 7 euros and up depending on where it was bought. Usually, they give it to you in a one liter plastic cup and ready to enjoy.

A fairly busy sector of the fair is known as the "street of hell". It’s the place where all the carousels and other mechanical games are placed, there so many that really impressed me and it’s the place preferred by children. In addition, this was where you could buy clandestine rebujitos as well as cigars and beers. From these streets I could finally see the magnificent fireworks at the end of the Fair on Saturday.
Despite only being able to attend the April’s fair in Seville for two days, I will undoubtedly return experience the entire week and I won’t forget to wear my formal suit and learn to dance sevillanas.

Written by León L. (Photography assistant on this journey, musician and chemist).

Have you been to Sevilla's Fair?! How was your experience?! Let me know!


Photographer, aspiring film maker, dreamer, in love with the world!! Everything you want is on the other side of fear!!