You are here: Home News 100% BASQUE: THE FESTIVALS OF DEBABARRENA

100% BASQUE: THE FESTIVALS OF DEBABARRENA

Jun 21, 2019
Starting this weekend in Eibar, and finishing in Elgoibar at the end of August, the festival season is upon the towns of Debabarrena, just in time for the summer. Don't miss out!

Summer is coming, and with it the holiday season begins for many people. If you have chosen Debabarrena as your destination, you are probably thinking of visiting the UNESCO Geopark of the Basque Coast, either on foot or by boat. If you are looking for nature and tranquility, you may choose our network of hiking trails, which in addition to beautiful landscapes, hide part of our most ancient history. Or how about exploring our villages? Among its streets you will discover jewels like museums and tower houses. While you explore our coast, our mountains, or our valley, you may hear a flurry of music, laughter, partying. For it is in summer when the towns of Debabarrena celebrate their local festivals.

As is traditional in practically all the towns of Euskadi, in Debabarrena too, each municipality has a patron saint, in whose honor festivals are held, considered the major festivals of each town. In addition, many rural districts of Debabarrena have their own hermitage, of course with their corresponding parties, distributed throughout the year. And as if that were not enough, in Debabarrena we have themed parties, fairs, competitions and festivals that set the atmosphere in our towns all year round.

Generally, these major festivals start with the launch of a rocket from the balcony of the town hall, known as "txupinazo", which is followed then by street music with local groups called “txarangas”. The activities vary from town to town, although there are some that are common in all. Among them are activities related to traditional Basque culture, such as rural sports exhibitions, where you can see the typical stone lifting or log chopping, or dance competitions. “Bertsolari” (improvised verses) championships are also held in many towns, a true example of the oral tradition of Basque culture. And in all the towns you may stumble upon a group of trikitilaris or txistularis, brightening up the parties. Another element that is very popular are the “encierros”, especially in Deba, in which a heifer is released through the streets of the town, of course previously fenced and closed to traffic.

Another event you should not miss at the festivals in many towns of Debabarrena is the “tamborrada”. The most famous of Gipuzkoa is that of San Sebastián, celebrated on the day of the saint of the same name. Those celebrated in Debabarrena may lack the grandeur of Donostia, but certainly make up for it in spirit. In several of our towns childrens’ tamborradas are also celebrated, as well as many other activities aimed at the young ones, such as clown shows, street theater, or games.

Eibar is in charge of opening the festivities season, with the San Juan festivities that are held until June 29th. If you decide to visit us on these dates, do not miss the tamborrada, which takes place on the night of the 23rd. In July, Mutriku takes over with the Madalenas, on July 22nd, which hosts a world-class jai alai tournament each year. Ermua follows with the festivities of Santiago on July 25th, which also usually holds a medieval market. Soraluze celebrates both Santiago and Santa Ana, on July 25th and 26th, with a cooking contest as one of the highlights. Participants cook cod pil-pil style (with an olive and garlic sauce), and anyone who comes can then get a taste. Mendaro also celebrates Santa Ana on the 26th, with a tournament of aizkolaris (log chippers). In August, Mallabia celebrates Andra Maris beginning on the 15th, with a performance of bertsolaris. The encierros of Deba during the festival of San Roque, on the 16th, are spectacular, and they end with a bullfight in the town square. Finally, Elgoibar closes the calendar, with the San Bartolomé festivities, on August 24th. The local music band, both in their own concerts and accompanying the tradicional Basque dance group, delights everyone who comes to the town on those days.

This is only an appetizer of the festivities, because as we have said, Debabarrena finds something to celebrate all year. Check here the calendar for 2019. What are you waiting for to visit us?

100% BASQUE: THE FESTIVALS OF DEBABARRENA