Celebrations and Attractions of San Sebastian in Spain
There are many festivals and celebrations in San Sebastian throughout the year. They also have various cultural attractions such as Muralla del Puerto.
San Sebastian is Gipuzkoa province’s capital city, along Basque Country in Spain. Locals here are called “donostiarras.” As of 2007, the estimated population of San Sebastian is 183,090.
There are many celebrations and attractions you will find here such as the following:
San Sebastian Day
Every 20th day of January, locals celebrate a so-called “Tamborrada” Festival. By midnight, the mayor raises the San Sebastian flag in their Konstituzio Plaza, where in a span of 24 hours, the whole city seemed awash with drumming sounds. Adults are dressed like cooks as soldiers march along the city. The march goes on for the whole night, wearing white aprons and cook hats to the tune of “The March of San Sebastian.”
This custom’s origin can be traced to Spanish tradesmen and cooks who mocked the occupying French army at the time of the Napoleonic wars. They mimicked the daily procession from Monte Urgull up to San Telmo’s water pump. As years passed, Vicente “Txiki” Bueneche developed the procession when he donated barrels that were used as drums for the procession.
After the adult celebration at night, kids have their own Tamborrada celebration in the morning. They would traditionally dress-up like soldiers and march throughout the city. Most of the kids wear a costume that would represent a particular country like Germany, England, Romania and so much more.
Aste Nagusia/Semana Grande
This is celebrated in the middle part of August every year. During this celebration, they feature a fireworks competition where it is presented every night by the bay and afterwards, a winner will be declared.
Aside from the fireworks competition, there are also brass bands that enliven the streets with popular musical performances and fairground attractions by the beach and seaside promenade, respectively.
This is celebrated during the first week of September. The celebration focuses on Basque culture such as Basque pelota games, oxen wagers, stone lifting contests, dance exhibitions and the cider tasting festival among others. However, the main highlight is the rowing boat competition.
Muralla del Puerto
This is the remnants of the wall which encircled three sides of the city during the 16th century up to the year 1863 when it was demolished. You can view a walled-up gate at the Monte Urgull side as well as various gun ports.
There is presently a gateway called Portaletas as a result of an ongoing renovation. The walls’ top portion is partially cut-off but it is still very wide. They use this as a walkway between the lower parts of Mount Urgull to City Hall.
This takes place on the 1st Saturday of February. It is a prelude to a town carnival. The celebration is to commemorate the arrival of Hungarian tinkers that were lead by a bear. This actually represents the animals from the Basque Carnival Mythology.
The entire parade showcases troops wearing costumes and consequently beating their hammers against posts. Sinti and Roma women also take part in the celebration through dancing. There is also a comic relief where a queen portrayed by a man showcases fun insights about the culture and people in the region.
San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival
This was originally organized by the Municipal Board of Culture of San Sebastian. The main purpose is to get the youth’s interest on the horror genre of the past 16 years. Aside from horror, other forms of entertainment like musical performances, street shows, exhibitions and stand-up comedy are also portrayed.
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