San Sebastian, as many other cities in Spain, enjoys many popular celebrations during which it's possible to learn about its culture, history and traditions.
If you would like to visit the city during one of these popular fiestas, make a note about some of the most important ones:
TAMBORRADA: This is the patron saint celebration. It takes place in January, from 24:00 hours on January 19th to 24:00 hours on January 20th. It is especially moving the moment of raising and lowering the flag, in Plaza de la Constitución although it is also very special following the “tamborradas” (bands) all around the different neighbourhoods, some of them made up of soldiers and others made up of chefs. A very noisy road show which shouldn't be missed!
SEMANA GRANDE: This is the main summer fiesta. It takes place in August, from the Saturday before the 15th to the following Saturday. All sorts of activities are on offer: from free concerts to sport competitions, including the now famous “pirates aboard!”; there are events for all ages and preferences. Nevertheless, what nobody wants to miss during that week is the International Fireworks Competition which takes place every night at the Bay.
SANTO TOMÁS: This is again one the oldest and most traditional fiestas being celebrated in the city. It takes place on December 21st and it's above all a popular gastronomic event based on the “txistorra”. From very early in the morning, lots of stalls are set up around the Plaza de Guipuzcoa and Plaza de la Constitución in order to sell this typical spicy sausage together with cider, cheese, traditional sweets or even crafts. The most outstanding moment: the pig's raffle at the end of the day.
OTHER POPULAR FIESTAS: Caldereros (first Saturday in February); Basque Fiestas (beginning of September) at the same time as the rowing races; the night before Saint John (23rd June); Fiestas del Carmen (around July 16th); Saint Ignatius (July 31st) and many more that you'll discover.