Get to know our festivities and traditions
These are some of the traditions of the Basque Country, a land rich in culture and history:
1.- Basque sports
- Basque pelota: it is a competitive and demanding sport, both physically and technically. The athlete who practices this sport is called "pelotari". The players must hit the ball in turns, in such a way that it hits the front wall and avoid that the ball bounces on the ground twice in a row.
The celebration of a match is vibrant and the competitors throw themselves to the ground, climb over the walls and/or meshes, with the purpose of intercepting the ball, they play independently of the right or left hand.
- The aizkolaris: is a sport that consists of chopping with an axe one or more logs in the shortest possible time, and can be competed individually, in pairs or in teams. The log can be placed vertically or horizontally.
- Stone lifting: those who practice this sport are called "harrijasotzaile" and it is, without a doubt, one of the Basque sports that cause most surprise among those who discover it for the first time. It consists of two players competing to lift a superior number of times stones of different shapes, dimensions and weights.
- The cider houses or sagardotegi in Basque: this is the place where people from a neighborhood originally went to taste and buy cider. People usually brought some food to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Over time, it became the tradition of the sagardotegi functioning also as a restaurant and place for social gatherings.
Today, cider houses are mostly large houses in the countryside (caserios) usually located in Gipuzkoa, around San Sebastian. The traditional menu is cod omelette, cod in pil pil sauce, the famous T-bone steak and for dessert cheese, quince jelly and walnuts.
- Gastronomic societies: Basques are not only known for their hardworking profile, but for being excellent chefs and wonderful producers of raw materials. Its origin is in the gastronomic societies that are the place to enjoy with friends around a table. There are few small towns or neighborhoods that do not have a society.
- The txakolindegis or txakoli wineries: they are the temples of one of the most traditional wines of Euskadi with Denomination of Origin Txakoli. There are wineries of all kinds: small, large, innovative, traditional, ecological. All of them strive to make Txakoli one of the best wines in the world. Thanks to the effort, enthusiasm and sacrifice of many people, this wine is making its way into the international market.
3.- The "cuadrillas"
This is the name given to groups of friends in the Basque Country who get together to have a good time or to talk about their problems. Usually these groups were formed at school or in the neighborhood and have lasted until today. They are usually large in number and their members are usually all of the same gender.
4.- The main festivities
- January 20: it is the most awaited holiday by the people of San Sebastian. On this day the traditional "tamborrada" is celebrated, which sounds in the city for 24 hours.
- June 23: Night of San Juan. The tradition of lighting bonfires is maintained.
- Third week of July: Jazz Festival
- Week of August 15: Semana Grande (Big Week)
- August 31st: it is a key date in the history of San Sebastian. On this day, in 1813, the Anglo-Portuguese troops entered the city and unleashed a fire that destroyed the entire city except for 31 de Agosto Street, in the old part of San Sebastian. In tribute to the victims, several events are held on this street on this day.
- Beginning of September: Euskal jaia
- The first two Sundays of September: Flag of " La Concha", regattas.
- Second half of September: International Film Festival.
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