The concept of a ‘Fería de Abril’ or ‘April Fair’ has its roots in the province of Andalucía where it is associated with the capital, Seville. In the post-war years however many Andaluces emigrated to Barcelona, and in 1971 set up their own version of the Feria de Abril de Sevilla as a reminder of home.
Since the 1970s the Barcelona feria de abril has grown to become the second-largest Spring Fair in Spain. As one would expect from this is a colourful and exciting week when Barcelona’s Andalusians relish the chance to celebrate the arrival of spring and revel in the exuberant traditions of southern Spain.
Southern Spaniards as well as Catalan people and visitors arrive in throngs to join in the revelry made up of singing, dancing and of course eating and drinking! Sherry and cold cañas flow freely and are accompanied of course by traditional Spanish paella.
One of the main features of the Feria de Abril are casitas, meaning “little houses”. In fact small marquees, these are set up erected in the Fòrum area of Diagonal Mar. Each casita is operated by a different organisation and these range from political parties to sporting or cultural groups. Every year there are at least 70 such casitas operating at the fería, all filled with revellers eating, dancing and celebrating the Andaluz way of life.
One key difference between the Barcelona and Seville festivals is that the casitas in Barcelona are open to for everyone to venture inside, try some traditional food and drink, and enjoy the flamenco shows. You can even join in if you feel brave!
Another fun feature of the Feria de Abril is a huge fairground complete with a Ferris wheel overlooking the Mediterranean. Candy floss and popcorn abound as do traditional the fairground favourites shooting galleries and dodgems.
But overall it is the atmosphere here that makes this a truly special event. The weather at this time of year is delightful and puts everyone in a partying mood, and the fería is an inclusive family affair where you will find several generations taking part. Traditional costumes add colour and truly make for a fun and flamboyant atmosphere!