April Fair, Seville

The biggest spring fair held in Andalusia is the Spring Fair of Seville. Here groups meet in "casetas" (entertainment booths) to drink and dance "sevillanas" all night. Every day handsome couples (the elegant, traditionally dressed riders on horseback with mantilla-crowned ladies behind them) parade riding beautiful horses and dressed in the Andalusian ruffles, country finery and broad-brimmed hats, whilst other women show off their finery in open carriages and the brilliantly decorated coaches with bells on their reins which leave their marks in the dusty paths.

For a little over a century, the April Fairs of Seville, which were originally only a market for livestock, have become one of the most fascinating spectacles offered in Spain, especially late at night, when the "spirit" takes over the throats of the "cantaores" (flamenco singers) and the legs and arms of the "bailaoras" (dancers) and the Real de la Feria blazes with multicolored tents, wreaths and paper lanterns outlined against the sky.

The city, which is always beautiful, is entirely transformed during these days. The song and dance and drinking never end, and a gaiety pervades everywhere.

During the afternoons important bullfights are held in the Plaza de la Maestranza.

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