Seville celebrates its Festival from the 30th of April to the 7th of May. More beautiful than ever during these dates, Seville displays, by means of music and excitement, the most important aspects of this magical city: the happy and good-natured spirit of its people.
The April Festival of Seville begins on the night of the «lunes del alumbrao´´, which is the official inauguration with the turning on of the illuminations in the area where the Festival is celebrated (a traditional fried fish dish is eaten on this night within the `casetas´) and finishes midnight on the following Sunday, which concludes with a spectacular firework display next to the River Guadalquivir.
The Festival can be considered like a small, decorated city, with a brief lifespan, full of `casetas´ (small marquees) and with streets named after famous bullfighters. Every year a huge entrance way is erected, illuminated by thousands of light bulbs in a spectacular mix of colour, at the entrance of the main festival area which commemorates one of Seville’s famous monuments. This becomes the main meeting place for the Sevillanos. The Festival area is illuminated the length of its streets by thousands of covered light bulbs called `farolillos´ (a kind of Chinese lantern).
The ground of the streets is covered with `albero’ (a type of yellow coloured clay which comes from the neighbouring town of Alcalá de Guadair, used traditionally in Seville in the gardens and the famous Bullring.
Music sounds constantly in the background, it’s an explosion of colour, the spots of the traditional dresses adorn the atmosphere, the horseman show off their horses by passing through the multitude. As a background to this stage there is a mixture of heady and intoxicating aromas that create an atmosphere to tempt the senses: fried fish, olives, paella, Serrano ham and to wash down these gastronomic delights, manzanilla and sherry.
Bewitched during all night, which does not end until well into the early hours, the people, at last, begin to retire in search of a cup of hot chocolate and the typical `churros´ (a type of fritter), before resting for a few hours and then continuing to party once again until the last Sunday of the Festival.
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