As I promised, here I’m. Again. I think I’m a pain in the neck… Sometimes.
We didn’t go to see houses for sale in the end. There were traffic jams all around Seville, so we decided to park the car and stroll. Surprisingly, it was cold. Windy. And cold. And my ears hurt. When there’s an icy wind, my ears hurt. Hurt a lot. I’m very sensitive to cold.
So as I was saying, there were traffic jams EVERYWHERE. Why? Oh, because this is Seville. And this is April. So what? Well, I’ll explain the result of this combination.
Seville is a beautiful city. Sunny, warm… And its people are very proud of their origins and their city. Their traditions and customs. And for these people two most important events of the many traditions in Seville are the Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria. I don’t know if you have heard something about these traditional events. Well, BOTH take place in April.
What is the Semana Santa about? It’s a religious holiday. It’s a national holiday. But Seville’s Semana Santa is more than that. It is (according to Wikipedia) “amongst the largest religious events within Spain, internationally renowned for its drama. The week features the procession of pasos, floats of lifelike wooden sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion, or images of the Virgin Mary showing restrained grief for the torture and killing of her son. Some of the sculptures are of great antiquity and are considered artistic masterpieces.” (Sorry, but I’m too tired to try to explain with my own words what Seville’s Holy Week is about.)
Paso Virgen de la Macarena (photo from Wikipedia)
What does it mean? That means that the city is CROWDED. With residents and also with visitors. I understand visitors. They want to see something exotic and new, and beautiful. OK. But residents? Aren’t they fed up? I mean, you see the same pasos every year, and every Holy Week is the same. I think Seville’s Holy Week is beautiful and interesting. But that’s all. I’ve seen it several times. And now I’m fed up. But it doesn’t seem enough for the rest of people. They always want to be here, or there, watching every single paso and, consequently, streets are crowded, and you can’t drive, ride a bike or walk. And this lasts not only the 7 days of the Holy Week. Oh, no. This lasts more than a month. Yes A MONTH. People from Seville love so much the Holy Week and everything related to it, that all the preparations and rehearsal start two or three months before. But a month before, bands and pasos start to patrol the streets. And worst of all: people become zombies, walking along the bands/pasos, closing the streets to traffic. And of course, there are always some policemen, making worse the traffic jam.
And when all this craziness about Holy Week ends (Thanks God!)… the Feria (Fair) starts (one or two weeks after Holy Week). And what is the Feria? (I’ll borrow the explanation to Wikipedia) “The fair officially begins at midnight on Tuesday, and runs six days, ending on the following Sunday. During past fairs, however, many activities have begun on the Saturday prior to the official opening. Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville’s leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeders meet. For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds, a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River, are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). Some of these casetas belong to the prominent families of Seville, some to groups of friends, clubs, trade associations or political parties. From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, you will find crowds partying and dancing “Sevillanas“, drinking Jerez sherry, or manzanilla wine, and eating tapas.”
Feria (photo from Wikipedia)
I love Seville. Its cathedral, its streets, its people. But I hate it in April. People go crazy. People everywhere. People. People. People. And streets disappear! The only thing you can see if you go out or lean out of the window is people. A plague of people. Everywhere. Any time. You can’t drive, you can’t ride a bike, you can’t walk. Just being at home. Depressing. I hate April!! 😦 But for any foreigner… Seville is wonderful and amazing in April. So I’ll be a good girl, quit complaining and I’ll recommend any of you who love Spain, Spanish or anything similar to come to Seville and experience the craziest month of this city. 🙂