The Seville Fair is always in April that is the reason why it is called: “Feria de Abril” which means: April’s Fair. The fair usually takes place two weeks after Easter, therefore when Easter occurs later in April, there is only one week between them. Even though, the fair hasoccured twice in May, because the Easter had been done just at the end of the month.
The fair started in 1847 and it was originally a livestock fair situated on the outskirts of the city. The atmosphere of the fair has been changed around the establishment of “casetas” (fair tents) in the beginning of the 20th century until becoming more of a party with friends. Also, the position of the fair was changed as the city was growing.
A footbridge was built up on 1896 to permit the pedestrians to cross Saint Ferdinand Street and it started to be decorated with bulbs during the fair which were switched on at night. That was the beginning of the current façade of the fair which switches on at midnight between Monday and Tuesday and marks the beginning of the fair.
The original fair lasted three days, but the duration was been increasing day by day until being for 6 days as it is now, from Tuesday until Sunday midnight when the façade is switched off and there are fireworks.
During these 6 days thousands of people come to the fair, many of them are dressed with the traditional costume. The traditional “traje corto” (Short jacket, tight trousers, boots and a wide-brimmed hat) for men and “traje de flamenco” (Flounce dress or flounce skirt with a shawl over their shoulders) for women.
There are more than one thousand “casetas” where people come to eat typical Andalusian food and drink typical white wines: “manzanilla” and “fino”. Also, there is music in all “casetas” some of them have live music and the visitors dance and sing together. Also many of the visitors come on their horses or in carriages which adds even more colorful to the event.
The atmosphere is very special so you should come to see it at least once. There are many hotels in Sevilla, Spain where you stay in and enjoy this event. Anyway, if you come one year you will come again for sure.
Christmas time is coming, and what better place could there be to celebrate than in the British capital? Atmospheric and well-organised, London goes all out for Christmas, with loads of things to see and do. Here’s some of our favourite things to do during Christmas in London 2012.
The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
With a market, ice-skating rink, food, drinks and even a funfair, Hyde Park will be the centre of many of London’s Christmas activities in 2012. Genuinely atmospheric, you’ll find something here for all ages, budgets and tastes. Just let yourself go and have fun!
As well as Hyde Park, various famous places in London will be freezing over during 2012, allowing you the opportunity to see some of your favourite sights in London flash past from a slightly different perspective. In particular, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the Natural History Museum and the Jubilee Gardens (next to the London Eye) will have ice-skating rinks and offer skate hire.
Go to a Christmas market
In addition to the Christmas market in Hyde Park, the Southbank Centre will be holding its own Christmas market. In typical German style, the Southbank Christmas market will feature stalls selling food, drink and all kinds of handicrafts. Perfect for swilling some mulled wine! On the 7th to 9th December, the market will hold a Chocolate Festival, and there’ll be a Real Food Christmas Market from the 14th to 16th December.
If you’ll need somewhere to stay and are looking to rent an apartment in London over Christmas, you’ll find some offers on this website. Enjoy your holiday, and above all happy Christmas 2012 in London!
Halloween is not typically celebrated in Amsterdam, however it is becoming ever-more-widely spread. With the first Amsterdam Halloween Festival being held a couple of years ago, people are taking Halloween on as their own as an opportunity to be creative and party in a different kind of way. If you want to find out about celebrating Halloween 2012 in Amsterdam first-hand, here’s some things you can do.
2012 Amsterdam Halloween Festival
For the third year running, organisation Amsterdam Spook is running the Amsterdam Halloween Festival. With events on offer every night from the 26th – 31st October 2012, the highlight will be the “Dead Famous” party on the Saturday 27th. Taking place in the plush Odeon Theater, expect to see various past and present icons roaming the corridors once again (zombie Madonna, anyone?). Costume is obligatory, but – as stated on the Amsterdam Halloween Festival’s website – “anything goes”. Entrance costs €22 plus administration fees; you can buy tickets here.
Amsterdam Halloween Parade and Party
After last year’s successful Zombie Walk, Fox is once again organising an Amsterdam Halloween Parade in 2012. Setting off from the underground NZlijn Rokin Station (currently under construction) at 8 pm on Saturday 27th, the parade will take its terrifying participants through the centre of Amsterdam. Unusually, cars are allowed, although they must be specially pimped out for the occasion and registered at email@example.com.
When the parade arrives in Westerunie, an old warehouse-style complex which has been converted into a nightclub, a “The End is Near” Halloween Party will be held in its honour at around 10 pm. Be prepared for lunatics to take over the mixing decks, with events titled “Armageddon”, “Revelations 13:1-18” and “Disco Inferno Massacre” taking place in each room. If we believe publicity on the the Amsterdam Halloween Party’s official website, the world will end shortly after the event, so party as though this were your last night on earth! Tickets cost €24.50.
Whatever you do, have a fiendishly happy Halloween 2012 in Amsterdam, and don’t forget to tell us about your experience!
Those who think Halloween is a tacky kids’ affair might be surprised to see the array of events, creativity, and even – dare we say it? – culture on offer for Halloween in New York. In particular, the cultural institutions have gone all out, with a variety of interactive ways to celebrate the 31st October. Here’s some ideas of what’ll be happening in the museums of New York during Halloween 2012.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - The American Museum of Natural History will be opening its doors for Halloween and offering you the chance to go trick-or-treating in corridors filled with huge prehistoric beasts. Not only that, but there’ll be live performances and arts-and-crafts sessions on offer as well.
STATEN ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM - The Staten Island Children’s Museum will once again be putting on their annual Halloween bash, which will entail handicrafts, music and a costume contest. Described as being “not too scary”, and as such a great choice for young children or those who suffer from frayed nerves.
SCIENCE MUSEUM - The NYSCI (New York Hall of Science) will be putting on an impressive programme which aims to inform and entertain about all kinds of scientific phenomena related to Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead. Expect various activities, among them pumpkin catapults (yes, you did read that correctly).
HISTORIC RICHMOND TOWN - The living museum of Historic Richmond Town will be putting on Dread of Night, an event in which you lead yourself through a “storytelling experience” in this historic center. Typical Halloween events such as apple-bobbing will also be held later.
BROOKLYN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM - The Booklyn Children’s Museum will be putting on a host of activities including costume parades, dance parties and storytelling sessions in their yearly Monster Mash. This is another great choice for those celebrating Halloween 2012 with small children.
For more details about the activities of the different museums of New York during Halloween 2012, please click of the links above to be directed to each museum’s official website.
Every year in Florence, the “Festa del Grillo” (Cricket Festival) is celebrated, a traditional festival whose official origins have been lost amongst the sands of time.
This Florentine tradition is derived directly from the Pagan festivals which saluted the beginning of Spring. During the ‘Calendimaggio’ (the May celebrations), the youth of the city decorated the doorgrames and windows of the houses of their boy/girlfriends with plants and flowers. As time drew on, they also began to give crickets, which they captured and kept in cages, as gifts.
It’s said that the crickets were considered to be good luck talismans, and were given in the hope of attracted good fortune in the home. On the other hand, another legend goes that there was an abundance of crickets in rural areas and that they destroyed harvests, meaning that they had to be captured and taken out of the fields.
In more modern times, parents buy cages and crickets in the Parco delle Cascine of Florence in order to give them to their children. As of 1999, due to animal protection laws, buying and selling real crickets has been made illegal. But the tradition of the cricket festival lives on, and the insects have been substituted for plastic, paper and wood crickets, many of which contain mechanisms which imitate the characteristic noise of these animals. During this day, you’ll also find various stands selling sweets, sandwiches and other typical foodstuffs and products.
The Festival of the Cricket 2012 will be celebrated on Sunday the 20th of May, at 10am to 8pm in the Parco delle Cascine.
Seville, southern Spain, is renowned for its typical Spanish feel, but have you ever wondered what its inhabitants do for fun? At least a part of the answer can be found in Seville’s April fair. Every year, in April, the Andalusian capital puts on a show to behold.
The Seville funfair has all the typical a ttractions: raffles, carousels and carnival rides. However, it also contains many features that set it apart from your typical fair. The striped-top marquees (‘casetas’) might be reminiscent of those you’ve seen before, but the typical Spanish produce you find inside may not be.
Here, you’ll find people drinking sherry from its original hometown, Jerez, sharing succulent tapas dishes such as calamares, spanish omelette and chorizo sausage, having a chat over a few glasses of Manzanilla desert wine and generally enjoying the evening. You’ll find people dancing typical flamenco-style sevillanas, too, especially as the evening gets on and the night gets late.
The costumes are spectacular, too – many of the Sevillians go all out and dress up in traditional local dress. For men, this includes short jackets, long trousers and a type of boater called a ‘cordobé’; for women this might be the stereotypical flamenco dress, complete with ruffles and fishtail skirt.
The Seville fair is one of the many Spanish events that remains relatively unplagued by tourists. Here, you can really get involved in the local scene and enjoy the friendliness of this outgoing people. Now, all that remains is to book your flights and find somewhere to stay!
Dinosaurs have taken over Forum Park in Barcelona and transformed it into authentic dino territory up until the 2nd of October. The travelling exhibition “Dinosaur Park” has arrived in the city and been set up on Forum Park promenade. It comprises a huge display that shows what dinosaurs were like and how they lived. The exhibition is mainly directed at families and children who are always fascinated by these extinct creatures. On your arrival to the grounds you will be welcomed by a 12m high and 21m long brachiosaurus. And, the first of twelve rooms that the area is divided into, shows the birth and evolution of dinosaurs. In another room, they study the fossils and explain what palaeontology is. Finally, in the main hall they focus entirely on these creatures and the life of the dinosaur. Visitors will get the chance to see more than fifty replicas of thirty different life-size dinosaur species, some of them robots. Children will, without doubt, like the animatronics that move and make noises, the most.
In addition, amongst the most popular specimens feature the tyrannosaurus rex, the brachiosaurus, triceratops, and the stegosaurus. Visitors can also admire replicas of fossils and watch documentaries.
Little ones will be able to take part in workshops, and educational activities and games converting them into mini palaeontologists for a day. They will most definitely not want to miss out on the opportunity to go inside a dinosaur egg and take a photo. This is a great family day out. So, make sure you don’t miss out! Dates: up until the 2nd of October 2011. Timetable: Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 9pm. Friday, Saturday, Sundays and National Holidays, from 12am to 9pm.
Place: Forum Park.
Price: 7 € adults and 6 € children.
Taking place from the 16th to the 30th of August is the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, a tribute to the many varieties of this fiery dance genre. This celebration, organised by the Ministry of Culture, temporarily converts the city of Buenos Aires into the Tango Mecca for tango dancers.
The aim of the Buenos Aires Tango Festival is to encourage the creation of new works and the recovery and value enhancement of the art, as well as to promote tango related events and activities.
Thus, visitors, locals and dance enthusiasts will be able to enjoy parties, live music, conferences, book presentations, films, exhibitions, and free classes and dance workshops led by famous dancers and renowned instructors teaching the different tango styles and techniques. Of course, there will also be concerts and dance performances from some of the most prestigious dance companies in the world.
Furthermore, within certain categories of the event, the best dancers of the festival will be awarded a prize. Finally, if this year’s edition is anything like last year’s then there will an opportunity to buy tango related goods in the festival trade fair. All the festival events will be taking place in various venues across the city and it is free to get in, although visitors are limited to two tickets each. To conclude, the Tango Festival in Buenos Aires comprises the perfect opportunity to witness and enjoy tango in the city that was the birthplace of this dance genre. Make sure you don’t miss out if you’re going to the Argentinean capital this summer.
The Underage Festival in London will be taking place on the 5th of August in Victoria Park, and this time it’s strictly for 13 to under 17’s. It comprises the highlight of the teen calendar and one of the only musical events of its kind to host and entertain 10, 000 screaming under-agers with no parents or guardians in sight.
Yup, that’s it! If you’re 18, you’re officially over the hill. For this festival at least.
If you’re lucky enough to be at the young and tender age of 17 or under you will be able to enjoy a fabulous line up of artists including Miles Kane, Bombay Bicycle Club, Brother, Cocknbullkid, Crystal Fighters, Devlin, Frankie And The Heartstrings, Ghost Eyes and Janelle Monae, amongst many others who still are yet to be announced.
For concerned parents, you’ll be glad to know that the festival organisers are working directly with the police department and Tower of Hamlets, etc, to make sure that your teenager has a great but safe time as well.
In addition, as it is an underage event, the bars on site will only be serving soft drinks with all bags being checked at the festival gates. Finally, there is a bus service that runs directly to and from the event. There’s still time to win tickets to the festival as every Friday they hold a competition where one lucky winner will walk away with a pair tickets to Underage. If you fancy going, or you know someone who does, then check out their website for more details.
Comprising a community farm just outside London, Spitalfields City Farm is home to an abundance of the cutest farm animals you’ve ever seen and host to a number of fascinating and wholesome family activities. The farmyard is, of course, the nerve centre of the farm and the lovely volunteers dedicate their time looking after the animals there including Bayleaf the donkey and Bentley the goat, Oscar and Marmalade the ferrets, Camelia and Cordula the guinea Pigs, Bramble the golden guernsey, Teggan the sheep, Tilley the shetland pony and Ethal and Ernest the campbell ducks, amongst many others.
The farm was originally set up in 1978 giving visitors the chance to visit the farm animals and take part in the fun activities that they organise there.
Recent events have included a Strawberry Fayre on Sunday, Waste and Recycling and Get Your Hand Dirty, Grow Food workshops and a farmyard music festival. Still to come this weekend is the Spitalfields City Farm summer barbecue where you can bring your own instrument, join in a camp fire sing-along and enjoy a yummy combination of burgers, salad and a vegetarian option if you prefer.
Further to the animals there are some beautiful gardens surrounding the farm including the wildlife garden and vegetable garden and a farm shop. Plus, given that the farm relies on the support of volunteers and kind donations to feed and keep the animals, as well as promote animal welfare, provide information on good farming practices and provide training on animal care, they offer the chance to sponsor the adorable animals living at the farm. Further information can be obtained at their website.
To conclude, this is an ideal summer activity for families visiting London this month.