Traditional lady during la Feria de Abril (Barcelona, Spain)

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Flamenca lady during the Feria de Abril Barcelona

Insiders Guide To The Feria De Abril De Catalunya

LIVE THE ANDALUSIAN APRIL FAIR!

In 1846 in Seville (Andalusia, Spain) two city councillors had the idea of organizing a yearly cattle fair that would be held in April, like it was already done in the 1200’s. It was a success with over 25,000 attendants. But most of them didn’t come for the cattle and horses show, but to get together. Spontaneous parties popped up with people singing and dancing.

Horse during an exhibition at the Barcelona Feria de Abril

With the years, the cattle side of the fair was overthrown by the celebrations, becoming the most important festival of Sevilla in the year, and it was soon copied by other Andalusian towns, and anywhere beyond where Andalusian immigrants arribed.

All about la Feria de Abril de Barcelona

1

Why is La Feria de Abril celebrated in Barcelona?

In 1971 some societies of Andalusian immigrants living in Barcelona and Catalunya decided to celebrate their own Feria de Abril de Barcelona, starting out with 4 “casetas” in the seaside suburb of Castelldefels.

Nowadays it’s become the most multitudinous event of Catalonia, with 1.5 to 3 million people attending it every year – that’s more than the Barcelona population! It is organized by the FECAC, the Federation of Cultural Andalusian Societies in Catalonia, with over 140 federated clubs. 

2

When is celebrated the Barcelona Feria de Abril?

The Feria de Abril is a mobile celebration - that is, the date when it's held varies every year because it doesn't depend on the solar calendar, but on the moon calendar. La Feria de Abril takes place 15 days after Easter Sunday, usually end of April.
While in Sevilla it traditionally lasts 6 days, from Sunday to the next Saturday, in Barcelona it is a bit longer: 10 days. In 2022 it’ll be from April 22nd to May 1st.

3

What are the Feria de Abril "Casetas"?

The “Casetas” are a sort of “booths” or marquees where people gathers to eat, drink, play music and dance. In Seville and the rest of Andalucia it’s common to have private and public “casetas“. The private ones are run by families, clubs and associations and the access is restricted to members and their guests.

However, in Barcelona all the casetas are public, which means anyone can get in and feel welcome to join the party. There’s around 70 casetas in the Barcelona Feria de Abril, decorated in the traditional style with white and colored (red or green) stripes. They are all grouped in an area that is known as “Real de la Feria“, or “Real” for short.

4

Flamenco and Sevillanas during the Feria de Abril

In order to preserve the traditional atmosphere of the Feria de Abril de Cataluña, it’s not allowed to play international music in the casetas. So what you’ll hear most of the time is flamenco music, typical from Andalusia. 

And from all the flamenco varieties, the most popular in party settings are Sevillanas, happy melodies with a certain rhythm that matches a simple routine danced in couple. It’s worth trying to learn a bit before heading to the Feria, so you don’t feel out of place. 

5

How to dress for the April Fair of Cataluña

Although in Seville you’ll see all the local ladies dressed with spectacular “trajes de flamenca” (flamenco dresses), in Barcelona most locals that aren’t part of a Andalusian folklore club don’t own one. If you are committed, though, you can buy one in Flora Albaicin near la Rambla, or rent one in the Menkes costumes shop. Or from Amazon.

Otherwise you’ll be fine if you choose a white or black top with a colorful flowy skirt or loose pants. Remember that color is a must, and frills and polka dots are a bonus. But forget about sequins. A two-piece suit combined with a colorful shirt works, too, and it’ll keep you warm. 

Comfortable heels, Manila shawls, large earrings… Avoid jeans and trainers. La Feria is a place to watch and be seen. In Spain we say “informal pero arreglá“… can I translate it as casual chic? Oh BTW, hair pins with large roses are strictly for full-dressed flamencas: If you aren’t wearing the full costume, you’ll stand out as an outsider.

As for men, stick to all black: it’s the safest bet to avoid looking tacky.

6

Eating in the Feria de Abril de Catalunya

In the casetas you’ll be able to buy food and drink, mostly tapas and Andalusian specialties. If there are two things you must try these are the “pescaito frito” (deep-fried small fish) and the “rebujito“, a sort of Andalusian cocktail combining Manzanilla or Fino sherry with lemon soda or lemonade.

7

Fairground rides

The enclosure of the April Fair is divided in two areas: the Real de la Feria that we discussed before, where the casetas are located, and the "Calle del Infierno" (Hell Street), which is a fairground.
You’ll find there many rides, as well as raffle stands and a variety of other attractions. In 2022 it included the largest ferry’s wheel in the world!

8

How to get to the Feria de Abril (Barcelona)?

These last years the Barcelona Feria de Abril has been celebrated in the Forum district. To get there you can take the subway to El Maresme | Forum on L4. The T4 tram line also has a stop nearby called Forum.

All the information about opening hours and events will be published in https://fecac.com/feria-de-abril-de-catalunya/ as the Feria approaches and more information is made available. The entrance to the casetas, concerts and shows is free – but you will have to pay for food, drinks and rides.

Are you planning to attend the Feria de Abril de Barcelona?

Marta

Author Marta Laurent Veciana

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Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

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Last update on 2022-08-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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