Eating and drinking. Laughing, singing and dancing. Seeing and making oneself being noticed. In the spring, Seville jumps into the spotlight and celebrates itself. In April Feria bursts its thousand colors for a week. Women put on their ruffled dresses and adorn themselves with flowers, silk shawls and tortoiseshell combs. Men sport the Cordovan hat and put on the “trajo corto”. A huge ephemeral city is built on the edge of the city center, with its entrance gate that thousands of light bulbs illuminate once the night falls. More than 1,000 casetas are displayed along the streets: these tent-lodges, each managed by several families or groups of friends, serve as a house during the seven days of celebration. We receive family, friends or colleagues, with whom we drink Manzanilla (white wine with a dry & marine taste) and we dance Sevillanas. From midday till dawn, a city celebrates the joy of living a new spring.
During the day, the Feria hosts the paseo de caballos: richly dressed riders and carriages parade through the streets, stopping in front of the casetas to greet or order a glass of wine. A real show where every detail counts. Inside the casetas, lunch is seated at tables painted in red or green, on which products and typical dishes of the region are served (ham, cheese, flamenquín, squid, etc.). This is the time to discuss everything and nothing, to comment on the news of the city, to celebrate the spring that has come back. We must also take strength for the afternoon and evening, because the days are long at the Feria. Then, no rules: you can walk around to watch the equestrian parade, or dance to the rhythm of the ever-present sevillanas, or simply indulge in dolce idleness around a coffee.
The evening sparkles with thousands of lanterns adorning the streets. Groups of musicians, or spontaneous, play in the casetas or outside. Time seems to stop when, late at night, everyday life seems far away, with its problems and small anxieties. Only dance, song and wine matter; sharing and lightness; joy. Until we decide that it’s time to go for breakfast with the gipsies, who, as everyone knows, prepare the best churros of the Feria.
One downside to all this: the vast majority of casetas are only accessible by invitation. There are, however, some that belong to the mayor or political parties, are open to all. And of course, the party is also in the street.