The Seville Fair: A Celebration of Culture and Tradition

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The Seville Fair, known in Spanish as “Feria de Abril de Sevilla,” is one of the most vibrant and celebrated events in the Spanish calendar.

Held two weeks after the Semana Santa (Holy Week), this iconic fair transforms the city of Seville into a dazzling showcase of flamenco, bullfighting, traditional costumes, and exhilarating rides.

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Historical Background

The origins of the Seville Fair date back to 1846, when it was initially conceived as a livestock fair. It was created by Basque councillor José María Ybarra and Catalan councillor Narciso Bonaplata to promote agricultural trade. However, over the years, the event evolved beyond its commercial roots to become a social and cultural extravaganza, reflecting the rich traditions and spirit of Andalusia.

The Fairground

The heart of the Seville Fair is the “Real de la Feria,” a vast, specially constructed fairground. The premises are divided into “casetas,” which are small, typically privately-owned tents or booths. These casetas are adorned with colourful decorations, and inside, they are transformed into lively venues where families and friends gather to celebrate with food, drink, and dancing. Although most casetas are private, there are a few public ones open to all visitors.

Traditional Attire

One of the most enchanting aspects of the Seville Fair is the traditional attire worn by participants. Women don the iconic “traje de flamenca” or flamenco dress, characterised by vibrant colours, intricate ruffles, and polka dots. Complemented with mantones (shawls), peinetas (combs), and colourful flowers in their hair, the women look strikingly elegant. Men typically wear the “traje corto,” a short jacket, tight trousers, and boots, often accompanied by a wide-brimmed hat.

Music and Dance

The Seville Fair is synonymous with flamenco—a passionate and powerful art form that includes singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance (baile), and jaleo (vocalisations and handclapping). Flamenco performances are a staple within the casetas, where spontaneous song and dance can erupt, creating an electric atmosphere.


Central to the fair’s activities is the bullfighting season, known as “la temporada taurina.” The historic Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza hosts some of the most anticipated bullfights of the year, featuring top matadors from across Spain. While bullfighting is a traditional and controversial aspect of Spanish culture, it remains an integral part of the Seville Fair for many locals and visitors.


No Spanish celebration is complete without an indulgence in local cuisine, and the Seville Fair is no exception. Popular dishes include “pescaíto frito” (fried fish), “tapas,” and the famous “jamón ibérico” (Iberian ham). These culinary delights are often accompanied by the fair’s drink of choice— “rebujito,” a refreshing mix of sherry and soda.

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The Seville Fair is a true testament to the exuberance and richness of Andalusian culture. It’s a festival that not only honours age-old traditions but also brings the community together in a vibrant expression of joy and celebration. Whether you’re swaying to the rhythms of flamenco, savouring delectable Spanish delicacies, or simply soaking in the lively atmosphere, the Seville Fair promises an unforgettable cultural experience.