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Seven fantastic events going on in Spain in April 2018

From a festival that brings together the world's best cheeses, to the legendary April Fair in Seville, every region of Spain is worth the visit this month (and every month, really).

Seven fantastic events going on in Spain in April 2018
Women wearing traditional Sevillana dresses pose during the Feria de Abril (April Fair) in Sevilla. Photo: AFP

April Fair Seville, April 15-21

Photo: Jorge Guettero / AFP

The only people the can out-do Sevillanos during Semana Santa are Sevillanos during the legendary April Fair. For one week the “Real de la Feria,” a huge area of the city is transformed into an amusement park with “casetas,” or canvas tents where important local families, friends, businesses, and political parties host parties that last all day and all night. This extraordinary spectacle is not for the faint hearted, with dancing, drinking, eating, and socializing taking place from early in the afternoon until sunrise every day of the fair.

Need a guide to navigating this crazy festival? Read All the fun of the fair: A Guiri's guide to Spain's ferias

Moors and Christians Festival in Alcoy Alicante, April 22- 24

                 
Photo: turismoalcoy

Visit any province in the South of Spain and you will find the footprint of some of the world’s oldest cultures. The city of Alicante has been commemorating the confrontation between two of these—the Moors and the Christians—since the 16th century. Walk through the streets of Alcoy, where the confrontation originally took place in 1276, and find yourself transported to the Middle Ages and surround by over the top processions, thrilling mock battles, and religious ceremonies.

International People’s Fair Fuengirola, April 27-May 1

Photo: fipfuengirola

127 different nationalities call the city of Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol home, making it the perfect place to host the International People’s Fair. Crowds from more than 30 countries come together to host gastronomic fairs and parades celebrating the unique fusion of cultures. This year the fair will welcome booths from Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Ukraine for the first time.

Rock n’ Roll Marathon Madrid, April 22

Photo: Pierre-Philppe Marcou / AFP

The Madrid Popular Marathon forms part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, the biggest running circuit in the world. If your running shoes are collecting dust in a storage room somewhere, you can still take part in the more than 20 live music performances, or hang out along the finish line on the Paseo del Prado to cheer on the runners.

Malaga Film Festival, Malaga, April 13-22       

If rising temperatures and the approach of beach season isn’t enough to draw you to the southern Spanish coast, maybe Malaga’s yearly film festival will. Presenting feature-length and short films as well as documentaries, the festival is at the center of Spain’s film industry and has something for everyone.

National Cheese Fair, Trujillo, April 28-May 1

Photo: feriadelquesotrujillo

Yes, you read that right. Every year the city of Trujillo draws more than one hundred thousand people to a festival dedicated entirely to the world’s best cheeses, including Spain's famous Manchego cheese. The cheesemakers want you to look and touch, workshops, tasting sessions, and demonstrations taking place throughout the festival. If a small sample isn’t enough to satisfy the craving, head to one of Trujillo’s restaurants where chefs prepare special menu items with cheese as their main ingredient.

Sant Jordi Festival in Barcelona, April 23.


man takes a picture of his girlfriend holding a rose and a book in the Ramblas in Barcelona. Photo: AFP

April 23rd  is Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day) which is also world book and copyright day, in commemoration of the death anniversaries of two of the world’s greatest writers, Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Coincidentally, this is also the day the people of Catalonia have been commemorating their patron saint of lovers with large rose markets since the 15th century. Bring these two together, and you get the Day of the Book and the Rose, where traditionally men give women roses and women give men books. Way more romantic than teddy bears and chocolates if you ask us.

READ ALSO: Seven glorious ways to celebrate spring in Spain

 

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SPRING

Danger: toxic caterpillar plague creeps across Spain despite cold winter

Dog walkers need to be particularly vigilant for a tiny but deadly creature that could kill your pet.

Danger: toxic caterpillar plague creeps across Spain despite cold winter
Photo: Ayuntamiento Utrera

The first signs of spring are welcome to most but the winter thaw brings with it, the threat of a tiny, but highly toxic pest: the Pine Processionary Caterpillar  (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa).

“They pose a major risk to children and adults causing dermatitis, eye damage and severe allergic reaction and in pets even death,”  Milagros Fernandez de Lezeta, director of Spain's Pest Control Association (ANECPLA), told The Local.

And this year, despite extreme winter conditions brought by Storm Filomena last month, they have already been spotted in areas across Spain from A Coruña in the northwest to Sevilla in the south.

Pest control group Rentokil warned that the cold temperatures had done little to kill off the pests. “They can survive in temperatures of minus 12ºC”.

 

 


 

The eggs are laid in candyfloss-like nests in pine trees where they remain during the cold winter months.

As the temperature starts to rise with the approach of spring, the caterpillars hatch and drop to the ground to search for food.

They can easily be spotted moving head to tail in a procession to form the conspicuous snake-like lines for which they are named.

The caterpillars, measuring between three and four centimeters in length, are particularly dangerous to young children who may be curious enough to touch them, and to dogs, who may attempt to eat them.

Each caterpillar is covered with tiny barbed hairs containing a protein called thaumetopoein.


Photo: Ana /Flickr

Dogs are the main victims as when they come into contact with the caterpillars can pick up the hairs on their paws, which are then licked because of the irritation and the poison spreads to the mouth.

They could suffer breathing difficulties, vomiting or start foaming at the mouth and should be taken urgently to the nearest veterinary clinic for an immediate cortisone and antibiotic injection.

Sometimes amputation of the tongue or nose is the only course of action and of they reach the throat can cause suffocation and result in death.

The risk is particularly high in pine forests but is not confined exclusively to them and can occur anywhere where pine trees grow, including city parks, private gardens and roadsides.

Many councils carry out spraying in muncipal parks to lessen the danger but they can't always be relied upon to eliminate the pest entirely.

So be vigilant!

IN PICS: Ten photos that will make you excited about spring in Spain

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