W is 17 years old, and lived in Sevilla, Spain for four years during his youth. I had a conversation with him about the Feria de Abril, a festival that happens in April once every year in Sevilla, Spain.
“I just remember there being a huge, massive, lot that they would save for the entire year. And we’d always drive past and be like, that’s where Feria is gonna be. But the city would save it there and it was just empty and barren. But come April, thousands of tents are set up. And, you know, there’s the orange sand, which is very iconic. And the casetas, where every family would have a tent to sit down, relax—you know, maybe there’s someone dancing flamenco, drinking Cruzcampo. And outside the casetas, there would be festival food like popcorn and cotton candy. It was just a very fun atmosphere. I remember my sister would prepare for Feria by taking flamenco lessons. And everyone was kind of dressed up. But yeah, the dudes would wear church clothes, which was kind of surprising because it’s hot. It’s really hot. And then the women would wear flamenco dresses, which are kind of like dresses that are tight around most of the body and then belt out at the bottom, with ruffles on their shoulders, wrists, and the bottom of the skirt. And you know, normally the dresses are red, green—a lot of the basic colors with polka dots on them a lot of times.”
The Feria de Abril is a Spring festival celebrated after Holy Week, around the Spring Equinox. The festival operates in a cyclical calendar, where the festivities symbolize new beginnings as we move into Spring. It’s worth noting that Feria began in the 1800s as a fairground for farmers to trade their livestock, which supports the idea that the fair follows a seasonal cycle where farmers could prioritize their planting schedule. Furthermore, in its early beginnings, Feria brought in Spanish Romani celebrations with the invention of the Sevillana dance, cementing the fair as a cultural mecca of tradition and folklore.