It's Christmas in San Sebastian
Live this Christmas as an authentic "donostiarra"
Maybe you are thinking that this year there is no reason to celebrate it –you may be right, we’re just recovering from a terrible pandemic−. Or perhaps you think that Christmas is only for kids and you may not be wrong either. However, in Lacunza IH we believe that precisely this year we have to celebrate better and harder than ever: enjoy this new beginning and live this Christmas with same hope and emotion we had when we were kids, as if it was your first Christmas ever.
Let the spirit of this season enlighten you.
The Christmas season begins with the San Sebastián light up on the first days of December. Around the same days, the Christmas market is inaugurated, which preserves the style of the most famous traditional Christmas markets of Europe. This market is located in different parts of the city, but the most of stands are in the Paseo de Francia, next to the Urumea river, very close to our school. In the stands you will find: high quality craft products, original Christmas ornaments, local fashion, handmade toys, roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate, typical Basque sweets such as pantxinetas, goxuas, gâteau basque... An experience for your senses! This market is the meeting point between artisans and buyers who can acquire the products directly from the people that have made them, and get to know the design and elaboration process.
Santo Tomás, a traditional festivity
In San Sebastián and other basque localities, the winter solstice matches with the St. Thomas festivity the 21st of December. That day, traditional markets and fairs are held and the best agricultural products of the season are sold. There are also exhibitions and contests, musical performances, popular dances, etc. Here it is known as the St. Thomas Fair. Apparently, its origin would be found back to the 19th Century when the majority of caseros or baserritarras - basque farmers- were renting the lands they were cultivating and the cattle they were taking care of.
In December farmers used to go to the town where the owners of the farms lived to pay their rent. As payment they delivered part of the autumn harvest. They used to enjoy their stay in the city to sell their products. That is how fairs were born.
For that reason, to celebrate the St. Thomas day San Sebastián like to dress like caseros, with the typical costume of the basque farmers.
The chistorra competition, in which every year dozens of people participate, is also famous (from basque txistor, “sausage”).
Other plans to enjoy Christmas holidays:
- Attend one of the many Christmas concerts that are organised in different places: churches, Victoria Eugenia theatre or the Auditorio Kursaal. In this region there is a strong interest for music. Is not surprising to find during these days musician groups or little choirs walking around the streets singing traditional carols.
- Visit the Nativity scene of the Plaza Gipuzkoa, a Christmas classic.
- Watch the Olentzero and Mari Domingui Cabalgata, who come down from their mountain to bring presents on Christmas Eve or the Cabalgata de Reyes with the Three Wise Men that come from East every year with presents and magic for all children.
- And, finally, you can practice sports. One of the most popular hobbies of San Sebastián people. You have many options: ice skating, run in the popular San Silvestre race on the 31st December or climb to a mountain and make a toast for the New Year.
What are you waiting for? This year, experience Christmas in San Sebastián.
The Lacunza IH team wishes to all their students
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022.