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Horses and riders feature prominently at the Feria.
Horses and riders feature prominently at the Feria.
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In photos: The 2018 Seville Fair

EL PAÍS photographer Paco Puentes captures some very special moments at this annual tradition in the Andalusian capital

  • Painting-like scenes of the Feria de Abril (April Fair), which begins one or two weeks after Easter Holy Week and runs for six to eight days. An estimated 500,000 visitors come daily to the Real de la Feria fairgrounds.
    1Painting-like scenes of the Feria de Abril (April Fair), which begins one or two weeks after Easter Holy Week and runs for six to eight days. An estimated 500,000 visitors come daily to the Real de la Feria fairgrounds.
  • Flamenco fashion makes an annual appearance at the Feria, a perfect showcase for the expensive, handmade dresses and elaborate accessories that women wear this one time out of the year.
    2Flamenco fashion makes an annual appearance at the Feria, a perfect showcase for the expensive, handmade dresses and elaborate accessories that women wear this one time out of the year.
  • The Feria can also be experienced on horseback or in a buggy, but only by those who bring their own horses and equipment.
    3The Feria can also be experienced on horseback or in a buggy, but only by those who bring their own horses and equipment.
  • The thousands of ‘casetas,’ or privately owned marquee tents, are the meeting point for friends and family members who eat, drink and dance within.
    4The thousands of ‘casetas,’ or privately owned marquee tents, are the meeting point for friends and family members who eat, drink and dance within.
  • The riders' clothes can be traced back to the days when workers in the fields watched over the livestock.
    5The riders' clothes can be traced back to the days when workers in the fields watched over the livestock.
  • The Seville architect César Ramírez designed the famous gateway to the fairgrounds.
    6The Seville architect César Ramírez designed the famous gateway to the fairgrounds.
  • The first Seville Fair was held in 1847 in the open field known as Prado de San Sebastián. It was initially a livestock fair, the brainchild of two Basque and Catalan entrepreneurs.
    7The first Seville Fair was held in 1847 in the open field known as Prado de San Sebastián. It was initially a livestock fair, the brainchild of two Basque and Catalan entrepreneurs.
  • One of the highlights of this week-long event is watching the Andalusian horses and their riders go by.
    8One of the highlights of this week-long event is watching the Andalusian horses and their riders go by.
  • Around 300,000 energy-saving light bulbs illuminate the fairgrounds, and 25,000 of these are strung along the gateway to the fair.
    9Around 300,000 energy-saving light bulbs illuminate the fairgrounds, and 25,000 of these are strung along the gateway to the fair.
  • This is the second year that the Feria de Abril lasts eight days instead of six.
    10This is the second year that the Feria de Abril lasts eight days instead of six.
  • People aren’t the only ones dressed for the occasion; horses and mules are draped in bright and colorful ornaments and trimmings.
    11People aren’t the only ones dressed for the occasion; horses and mules are draped in bright and colorful ornaments and trimmings.
  • Whether on foot or on horseback, Sevillanos make a special effort to look elegant throughout the Feria.
    12Whether on foot or on horseback, Sevillanos make a special effort to look elegant throughout the Feria.
  • There are over 1,000 ‘casetas’ within the fairground. While many are private and can only be accessed by invitation, those kept by the Ayuntamiento, political parties and non-profits are open to everyone.
    13There are over 1,000 ‘casetas’ within the fairground. While many are private and can only be accessed by invitation, those kept by the Ayuntamiento, political parties and non-profits are open to everyone.
  • People on horseback and in carriages with the right credentials may only access the fairgrounds from 12:00 to 8:30pm, in order to facilitate movement on the packed streets.
    14People on horseback and in carriages with the right credentials may only access the fairgrounds from 12:00 to 8:30pm, in order to facilitate movement on the packed streets.
  • Horses, riders and carriages become the true stars of the fair.
    15Horses, riders and carriages become the true stars of the fair.
  • The fairground comprises 15 streets honoring illustrious bullfighters.
    16The fairground comprises 15 streets honoring illustrious bullfighters.