Right, so obviously Sevilla’s Feria de Abril has been cancelled this year. At first it was postponed until the end of September, when I think the city council thought they could do a combo thing with the Feria de San Miguel. But now… nada. In fact ALL festivals, fiestas, etc, are clearly going to be cancelled for the rest of the year, and most likely well into next year.
But tonight is the noche del pescaíto (night of the fried fish) which traditionally is the first evening of Feria before it officially opens, and everyone in their little private casetas do a pre-opening thing for their select friends, make a whack of fried fish and everyone is well and properly full of fish and rebujito by the time the alumbrado – the lighting up of the fair ground – happens, and when the rest of the public is allowed in.
Thing is… until 2-3 years ago (can’t exactly remember when they changed the rules) the noche del pescaíto and the alumbrado always happend on a Monday at midnight. Tuesday was designated as a public holiday, and the rest of Feria continued until the following Sunday, with a pretty fab fireworks display to finish things off. but then it changed.
NOW they have incorporated an extra weekend into Feria. So now we start on a Saturday (instead of Monday night) and continue until the following Sunday. Why? Well of course so they could MAKE MORE MONEY from tourists. I think it’s a crass move, much like lighting up the Christmas lights here at the end of November instead of the traditional date of December 7th. Which again is ALL ABOUT getting more tourist dollars.
Truth is, Sevillanos mostly went to Feria Monday night – Thursday, then took off for the beach. The Friday – Sunday Feria days were considered to be the for tourists, including those coming from other parts of Spain (Sevilla’s Feria is the largest and most renowned in the country). WHATEVER.
This is all to say that I made a whack of fried fish today because, like it or not, today was the “official” opening of Feria this year. Lots of people are getting dressed up, decorating their homes and balconies, etc. Me, I just fried fish. Well, kind of. I lightly breaded some chipirones, then did an egg and breadcrumb thing on chunks of chocos (man, they were so tender!) and made a batter for the prawns, and then also tried a few onions rings – not bad. All for a festivity I actually don’t like much. Lockdown does strange things to a person…