The Festival of Nations in Seville is almost 25 years old! The tourist season is in full gear! What a difference from the summer when Seville is a ghost town, thanks to the intense heat. The locals leave town for their holiday homes, but now that work and school has started, they are back in town.
Festival of Nations Seville:
Festivale de las Naciones:
The Festival of Nations is a collaboration between Human Rights activists, humanitarians, educators and with the cooperation of the local government. The purpose is to combat racism and xenophobia. The objective is to help immigrants integrate into Spanish society. This of course has the added benefit of showing the locals that there is nothing to fear from foreigners.
I think this is such an innovative and awesome thing to do. It’s being going strong for over 20years and becomes a bigger celebration on a yearly basis. The atmosphere is lively and joyful and is attended by loads of people over the month that it happens. Each year, more and more people discover this event and it is fun to check out.
Shopping at the festival:
Where does the Festival of Nations take place in Seville:
The Festival of Nations takes place at the Prado de San Sebastian park which is very close to the Seville center, right outside of the metro stop, so it make it very convenient. The entrance has huge bouncy rides for kids, a small petting zoo and a little train depot for their entertainment.
Continuing on, there are vendors selling handmade crafts from different places. Clothes from Mexico, Jade from India, lots of beaded jewelry and shoes and even a booth with products made from “oro vegetal”- gold from vegetable oil? I’ve never heard of that before. The pieces looked so beautiful. I would however, be afraid that the gold would tarnish quickly, or that l would have a reaction to it. My skin is unfortunately very sensitive.
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Seville Festival: Food
As much as l like the knickknacks, our main objective was to eat, and eat some more food! :-) . We were not disappointed with the offerings. Towards the rear of the park were the booths representing different countries… hallelujah!
We went in the early evening while there was still daylight. It wasn’t as packed then either,and there were still plenty of seats at the different restaurants. Make sure to walk around the whole place first and see what sort of food are on offer. Resist the urge to eat at the first booth because you might find something you like better. It’s hard to resist though :-).
It was quite clear that we would have to return to the festival at least five more times to really experience all the variety of food. A good thing if you live in Seville, not so good if you’re on a vacation!. Unless you are a glutton, there was no way to eat everything in one go :-) !.
Venezuela, Mexico, U.S.A, Russia, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and quite a few more countries had booths and incredible food being cooked by the natives of said countries, so very authentic food. The smell is intoxicating to say the least and you feel as if you want it all.
Looking at all the countries participating in the Festival of Nations though, some were missing. Japan, Thailand, Senegal and Jamaica for instance were not there. I can only assume that they take turns, or as time goes by, more countries will join in.
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Program for the Festival of Nations:
Music is very much a part of the Festival of Nations. A big stage is set up yearly for the performances. You can find the program for 2019 here. Sevillanos love staying up late, so a lot of the shows are on starting from 10PM for the good ones. They do have kiddie shows too, so if you bring kids, you can come earlier and enjoy the activities they have for them.
There is plenty of space to dance! Shows include flamenco, hip-hop and world music. You’re bound to find something to love. The festival takes place over a month, so there is no excuse not to attend. This year, the festival runs through November 3, 2019.
If visiting Seville, you should definitely stop by. Most shows end at 11.30pm on weekdays and 1am on weekends. The lively night atmosphere is something l have come to love about living in Spain. I love being among huge groups and not feeling apprehensive about some idiot having a gun or someone starting a fight.
There was not a single police man in sight! Families are out, people with dogs were out, parents pushing strollers and everyone having fun. The sense of safety is priceless. I think you will find that is something every expat feels good about. Of course there will always be opportunistic crime, but that’s true everywhere.
Admission is FREE tot he Festival!!!! I love that. Of course you still have to pay for your food and drinks, but the prices are pretty reasonable. My beef empanadas from Brazil was only €2.50 and it was stuffed..with actual beef..not that weird combination beef/pork, awful tasting concoction that l always complain about.. :-) .
The booths are divided into sections and feature food from the areas. For instance, there is a Mexico section where you can get tacos and Modelo beer and other typical Mexican food. There is a Brazilian area, Morocco, Cuba and so on. It’s nice being able to try food from different places.
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Looking for a hotel for your Seville vacation? Start here:
What do you think of the Festival of Nations? Are you adventurous and enjoy trying different foods? or would you just look for your country’s booth and call it a day? :-)