Human Rights Film Festival
Apr
20
to Apr 27

Human Rights Film Festival

The film festival dedicated to social problems in society takes place in San Sebastian at the end of April. This festival features films about the difficulties of adoption, freedom of speech, bullying, migrants, struggle for women's rights, victims of dictatorships, sexual violence and torture, the fate of youth and other topics of concern of the contemporary authors. Festival organizers try to attract international attention to the infringement of human rights around the world through artistic means. In the festival jury, in addition to professionals from the film industry, there are also representatives of the international humanitarian organization - Amnesty International. They confer a special award to the most thrilling social film. The screenings of films are held mainly in the cinema halls of Victoria Eugenia theater and Tabacalera cultural center.

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Jazz Festival
Jul
25
to Jul 29

Jazz Festival

At the height of summer, in San Sebastian, all the street corners are filled with the sound of jazz. One of the oldest European jazz festivals, ‘Jazzaldia’, (nowadays with an added sponsor title Heineken) is held here annually and is internationally renowned. Famous (and some not so famous) bands from Europe, Asia, Africa and America perform in many, sometimes unexpected, places in the city. Among others is the ‘Plaza Trinidad’, a stage in the heart of the old town at the foot of Mount Urgul, where the festival was launched in 1966. Natural acoustics can be experienced here. This is what makes this spot the most romantic of the festival. The glass cubes of the expo center Kursal with its adjoining terrace and Zuriola beach, is a very spacious area where people can come with their families and friends. The magical patio of San Telmo museum (an architectural masterpiece of the 16th century) is a must to visit at night. Here, you can usually attend concerts with sophisticated Scandinavian experimentalists. The famous stage of the Victoria Eugenia Theater features professional musicians.

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Santo Tomás
Dec
21
2:00 PM14:00

Santo Tomás

In the nineteenth century, farmers from Guipuzcoa province were coming to San Sebastian to sell farm produce and home products and to enjoy shopping in the city. Nowdays city residents dress up in costumes and walk around town drinking cider with chistora – a  favorite produce of local farmers. Adhering to the tradition, on December 21, on Constitution Plaza appear sheep, pigs, homemade cheeses, bread, pastries and a lot of cider.

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Magic Kings parade
Jan
6
11:00 AM11:00

Magic Kings parade

Spanish winter holidays start on Christmas eve and end with fairy kings parade - an important Catholic ritual that symbolizes the journey of the Magi from all over the world to Jerusalem to present gifts for a newborn Jesus.  A ritual that nowadays is very similar to Santa Claus’s visit on Christmas eve. Biblical characters kings Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar represent three generations of men, moving from three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) on camels with presents to Jesus. Back then kings gifted gold, frankincense and myrrh, but children nowadays make their wish lists with more relevant gifts.  They leave milk for kings and even cookies for camels before going to bed. Upon arrival to the city, the kings throw candies and children respond the same.

The so-called "royal ring" (Roscón de Reyes) decorated with "treasures" made of succade is an important holiday treat. Inside the round dough-rolls, filled with whipped cream or cream, is a hidden figure of a king and whoever gets this figure will be happy in the new year, and yet must pay for everyone's treats.

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Tamborrada
Jan
19
to Jan 20

Tamborrada

Tamborrada or San Sebastian Day is held on January 20th, and this year it coincides with the official opening of San Sebastian as a European Capital of Culture 2016. The opening ceremony will take place at midnight on January 19th, when a president of gastronomic community Gaztelubide will raise the flag of the city at the Constitution Square.  City residents celebrate the day of the patron saint for more than 150 years with a 24 hour parade of drummers in costumes and brass bands. A week before the parade, streets are filled with the loud sounds of rehearsing drums. The procession involves members of gastronomic communities with centuries of combined history, therefore; one cannot accidentally end up among the drummers.  Kids Tamborrada takes place on the same day and can only be cancelled due to bad weather, which could, certainly, be the biggest disappointment of the year for children. Since Tamborrada is a favorite holiday for the residents of San Sebastian - every donostiarran feels honored to participate in it.
00:00 - The raising of the flag (Location: Constitution Square )
12:00 - Children’s tamborrada (Location: Alderdi Eder )
00:00 - Lowering of the flag (Location: Constitution Square )

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Carnival
Feb
28
to Mar 4

Carnival

Festive processions dedicated to Carnival begin in San Sebastian 40 days before the Passover Week. Starting from Thursday, mummers walk through different quarters of the city, singing songs dedicated to the goddess Momo - the queen/patron of the carnival. Festivities reach the apotheosis on the weekend: locals dress up in fun outfits and go to watch the gran-parade, in which specialized platforms decorated in different styles move through the center city accompanied by music and large groups of dancers.  Performers choose different themes each year such as national processions in Asia or Latin America, traditional carnival spirits or characters from famous films. The festive week ends on Monday with the funerals ceremony of a sardine. The moaning procession, accompanied by weeping and funeral music, carries a huge fish dummy along the central streets of San Sebastian and then solemnly burns it outside the City Hall.

FRIDAY:
18.31. goddess Momo travels through the city from Londres hotel.

SATURDAY:
17:01First Parade
Route: Boulevard - Hernani - avda de la Libertad - Urbieta - Prim - Bergara - Idiakez - plaza Gipuzkoa - Legazpi - Boulevard

SUNDAY:
17:01Second Parade
Route: Boulevard - Hernani - avda de la Libertad - Urbieta - Prim - Bergara - Idiakez - plaza Gipuzkoa - Legazpi - Boulevard

MONDAY:
19:31 Burial of the Sardine
Parade with the participation of carnival crowd devils, widows and other characters. You will also see Txarangas Los Pasai, The Tireless and the special Les Rodjes Macrâles de Liege (The Red Witches of Liege).
Route: pl. Bilbao, Getaria, Txurruka, pl. Gipuzkoa, Elkano, Boulevard, Alderdi Eder.
20:01 BURNING THE SARDINE in Alderdi Eder.

 

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Easter processions
Apr
19
5:00 PM17:00

Easter processions

  • 1 Kalea Uria Harresia Hondarribia, PV, 20280 Spain (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


The week before Easter in Spain is known as Semana Santa, or the Holy week. Starting from the Holy Thursday, Passover processions take place throughout Spain. This religious processions are dedicated to the events that occurred after Christ entered Jerusalem. In Guipúzcoa, this spectacular procession can be observed in Hondarribia and Irun. Dressed in medieval clothes of monks, procession participants carry out huge relic figures that tell the biblical story of the arrest, scourging, crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Heavy two-meter statues are fixed on special platforms and are carried out from the main church to be paraded on the carriers' shoulders in the Silent procession through the city. Some of the statues are escorted by people in the costumes of Roman soldiers who served the verdict of Pontius Pilate on the crucifixion of Christ. The procession is accompanied by an orchestra playing funeral march.
In some regions, Easter processions are accompanied by representatives of religious communities that are dressed in floor-length robes and sharply pointed hats (capirote), similar to those worn by member of the Ku Klux Klan. The tradition of wearing caps covering a person has remained since the time of the Inquisition, when those who committed a religious crime were forced to pass through the city in pointed caps as punishment. Now they are put on as a sign of sorrow and remorse for ones sins.

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Beachfront ballet
Apr
22
12:00 PM12:00

Beachfront ballet

  • 18 Kontxa Pasealekua Donostia, PV, 20007 Spain (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

At the end of the 20th century, UNESCO established an international dance day that is celebrated on April 29. In San Sebastian, the whole April is a month of dance. On one of the Sundays, the famous beachfront railings of La Concha turn into one big ballet barre. Thousands of young dancers come to the main beachfront of the city and demonstrate their dance skills to the sounds of classical music played from loudspeakers throughout La Concha. Not only students take part in the event but also dance school teachers from provinces of Gipuzkoa, Biscay and Navarre regions. A truly fascinating sight of small swans in plie dressed in outfits, which repeat the hue of the incoming wave.

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Keler Bokata Astea
Apr
13
to Apr 22

Keler Bokata Astea

The most gourmet bokatas can be tasted in San Sebastian during the week of Keler Bokata Astea, when over 30 establishments offer delicious and original bokatas accompanied by a Keler beer at a single price of 7 euros.  Bokata is a Spanish sub sandwich with various fillings.  It is, probably, one of the most popular snacks in Spain. During this special week, bars of San Sebastian add a gourmet touch to this simple but satisfying dish.  For example, "Spring" (a salmon bokata with arugula, cream cheese, avocado and Maldon salt) and "Japan Fusion" (a marinated turkey bokata with escarole, tomato, Gorgonzola cheese sauce, shiitake and wakame seaweed) are just few bokatas that stood out for us this year.

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Hitchcock. Beyond suspense
Jun
16
to Oct 1

Hitchcock. Beyond suspense

An exhibition that portrays Hitchcock as an artist, as an author, as a creator who controls every aspect of his films. The exhibition traces Hitchcock's life, his icons, his ability to work with great collaborators, his portrayal of the woman, his way of portraying his time and his scripts.

The exhibition presents a five-part series that illustrates the most significant features of the director's filmography, through enlarged frames and sequences of his films, storyboards, sketches, posters, photographs, magazines and dresses.

*Closed on Mondays.

Admission: 6 EUR

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Liñiou Faté: The Forgotten Ones
Apr
7
to Jul 2

Liñiou Faté: The Forgotten Ones

Bibendum (the original name of the Michelin Man) has crossed borders to reach all points of the planet, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where it is used, as in so many other places, to indicate the presence of workshops for the repair and replacement of punctured tyres. This exhibition shows the creativity around the icon of Bibendum, through photographs, videos and original objects.

From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-20:00

Free admission

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The sea of toys
Feb
16
to Sep 16

The sea of toys

Naval Museum is hosting an exhibition of antique Spanish toys related to the theme of the sea and seafaring.

Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 14:00 / 16:00 - 19:00.
Sundays and holidays: 11: 00 - 14: 00.

3 EUR

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'The Brigde of Coexistence' show
Jan
23
8:00 PM20:00

'The Brigde of Coexistence' show

Among the many events that have been scheduled to start off San Sebastian 2016, the main event, that will take place the 23rd January, has been created and directed by Hansel Cereza. The public is invited to congregate in the surroundings of the María Cristina Bridge to enjoy the performance and take part in the building of the bridge of co-existence, an ephemeral bridge of values, intentions and dreams to be developed throughout the year.

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