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14
Apr
2016

Doble celebratrion of the Seville Fair in Benidorm

In April, the happy, friendly and optimistic spirit that characterises Seville becomes even more intense. The reason: the arrival of the Fair. Its soundtrack: the traditional sevillanas.

With the fair, the inhabitants of the Andalusian city enter the final phase prior to the appearance of the extreme heat that approaches with every passing day.  This joy, always full of traditional, colourful expressions, can be “contagious” for other Spaniards, all of whom follow news of the April Fair.

This year, the festivities will begin in Seville at midnight with the classic prueba del alumbrao (lighting of the main gate and fairground lights). This serves to light up all of the streets in the area and officially opens the fair. From this moment, locals and visitors will start to enjoy the music and the entertainment offered by the Fair’s casetas (marquees). 

A little history

In the beginning, the fair was essentially for commercial purposes.

In the thirteenth century, Seville was conquered and a few years later, Alfonso X, known as Alfonso the Wise, granted permission for the first fairs to be held, one in September and the other in April.

Over time the tradition was lost, but centuries later a new April Fair was invented, which was approved by Seville City Council on 18th September 1846. The leading figure of the day was Narciso Bonaplata, the city’s councillor.

The idea was that Sevillian farmers would be able to purchase livestock without having to travel to other distant towns and cities. As such, the Fair of Seville rose from its ashes on 18th April 1847, and 19 casetas were set up, which have grown in number over the years.

The Fair in Benidorm

The city of Benidorm also pays its own special homage to Andalusia in various ways. Firstly, there are the gastronomic events, which are organised year after year to honour the April Fair in a special way. Secondly, there is the unique celebration which takes place at the Casa de Andalucía de Benidorm Cultural Centre.

In the first case, the fair is run by the Association of Bars and Restaurants, which organises a unique fair that is split between five legendary eateries located in the most emblematic areas of the city. In this way, although Benidorm does not have the same grand opening as the classic Sevillian alumbrao, its establishments are enlivened with the best Andalusian music and also serve its most emblematic dishes. In fact, the five establishments taking part in the Seville Fair begin the celebration with their spectacular Día del pescadito, where small fried fish are served on Tuesday, 12th April at 7.30pm.

The other days include the traditional morning fair sessions, always combined with dancing and live performances. The closing ceremony of the Fair takes place on Sunday, 17th April at 3pm.

The Casa de Andalucía also offers visitors a lively programme enabling many Andalusian people to celebrate their great fair.

Man cutting ham

At this centre, the Seville Fair in Benidorm begins at midnight, with an amazing open-air dance outside the centre, where pinchitos (tasty snacks) and beer will be served, along with the traditional rebujito (sherry mixed with lemonade). The intention is to celebrate the great occasion and at the same time raise funds to maintain the figure of la Virgen del Rocío, who, as we all know, Sevillian people particularly worship.

During the week-long fair, the finest food and drink will be mixed with singing and dancing.

Partys next to Poniente Beach

In addition, the fair organising committee of Benidorm usually makes its own small contribution with a series of pasacalles (musical processions) that pass through the centre of Benidorm.

Different individual celebrations that have a shared objective: to celebrate Seville Fair in Benidorm, a cosmopolitan city that is always open to all types of celebrations.

Photos ceded by Visit Benidorm

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