Big Week of San Sebastian

Big Week of San Sebastian, San Sebastián -Guipúzcoa

During the week of August 15th San Sebastián holds its Big Week, on which a broad range of events take place.

San Sebastian Big Week
The Big Week begins with the cannon fire at the entrance of the City Hall.

How the Big Week of San Sebastián is celebrated

The biggest attraction may be the International Fireworks Competion, which is held every night at the Concha beach. However, a more recent event is becoming more and more popular, the  All Aboard, where thousands of participants build their own rafts in the morning to become “pirates” for a few evening hours. It is said that this year more than 3.500 people and more than 350 rafts took part in the event.

San Sebastian Big Week Tradition
Plenty of rafts sail on the shore of the Concha Beach in San Sebastián.

Sports are also remarkable in the Big Week of San Sebastián festival´s programme, with a rugby tournament, canoeing, Basque rural sports such as the stone-lifting among others, as well as the “Fire Bulls”, concerts…

A bit of History

This popular festival started in the mid-nineteenth century, intended for upper-class tourists who spent their holidays here.

San Sebastian Great Week
Fireworks display above the Concha Beach.

My personal point of view

I was in San Sebastián for just three days, but I really think it is quite enough to get to know this festival. On the first evening, after the cannon shot, the streets were crowded and music played out everywhere, it was a very interesting walk that night. Nevertheless, the second night it was different, much quieter and less street bands on the streets.

The fireworks are really beautiful, and the Concha Beach is a nice place to be waiting for them. Apart from that, what I found most interesting because of its originality, was the pirate ‘Al Abordaje‘ (All Aboard). If you want to live this fun experience, note you must register in advance. The enrolment is free and air-filled sacs can be bought directly there.

Click here to see more photos of San Sebastian and this festival


 *Be aware that the patron saint of the city is San Sebastián, and the patron´s day, 20 January,  a traditional “Tamborrada” is held. This is the main festival of the city of San Sebastián where everybody participates. I truly recommend this one.

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