La Feria de Abril, Miarma!
The Feria de Abril in Sevilla, Spain IS WORTH THE HYPE. There, I found my love for flamenco dancing, dressing up, and sitting at a table for hours with family and friends. The Feria de Abril takes place for a week in late April or early May in Sevilla, Spain. People from all over Spain (and globally) come for this festival. Weeks before, people are buying shoes, dresses, hair clips, and more to prepare for the week of Feria. My junior year of high school, my first feria, I was able to purchase a flamenco dress which to this day is one of my prized possessions. I took dance classes leading up to the festival, and my host mom helped me get ready. All of my friends from school could not stop talking about how important and fun feria was, and I was waiting with anticipation.
The first night, I went to see the portada light up. Everyone was cheering and thousands of people gathered. Then, in to feria we went. Everyone was dressed up, laughing, speaking in groups, dancing, singing, and EATING. I ate so much food that first night, I did not think I would make it another one. But I did. The thing about feria that my friends forgot to mention was you stay up all night. Literally. From 10pm-7am you are talking, dancing, and eating. When you go home in the morning, you sleep, then return around 4pm and start it all over again. It is the most exhausting but joyful week you will ever experience. Your feet will ache for days after because of the walking you do, but you will begin to miss that when you no longer have the feria here. At feria, I met so many new people, and was able to practice my spanish with my host grandparents in our little castea. There are hundreds of casetas all around, and when you need a little break, that is where to go. Another thing about feria, is they have rides, carnival foods, and areas where you can go enjoy a "typical amusement park".
My junior year abroad in college, I was more than prepared. I helped all of my friends get ready and I was shopping a month in advance. I was so excited to reunite with old friends, and oh boy did I! I saw everyone from my old high school, including teachers and program directors. I was so happy and so excited to have experience again.
I can not wait for my next feria.