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Semana Grande in San Sebastián

Semana Grande (Great Week) always takes place the week of the 15th of August, from Saturday to Saturday. This year 2012 will be from 11th to 18th. During these days the whole town dresses up and performs hundreds of activities. Foremost among these is the festival of fireworks, an event prepared throughout all the year. The hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra stands in front of “La Concha bay”. You can enjoy the fireworks from the windows of your hotel room.



This year, as every year, you’ll find cooking classes, recreational and informative events and outdoor sports all over San Sebastian. But three events, in particular, characterize the Semana Grande: the incredible pirate invasion of the Bay of La Concha, the International Fireworks Competition and the parades of the Giants and big heads.

Pirate Attack

Last year, nearly 5,000 citizens of San Sebastian dressed as famous TV pirates, small buccaneers and all kind of crews, and break in the beach of La Concha trough every sort of boat. Fun and a great atmosphere are always the main stars of the Semana Grande in Sebastian. All sort of tools, such as cushions, paddles, brooms, floats, cushions are valid to reach the Concha Bay from the port. Last year over 500 boats were counted. A spectacle of color and fun. In 2012 the group Donostiako Piratak / Pirates of San Sebastian, organizer of the parade, is celebrating its tenth anniversary of the creation and promises something special. This group was created in 2002 from several bars of the Old Town and the youth association, in order to join forces for a "popular, participatory, non-sexist" festival. Thus, because of their disagreement with the model of celebrations proposed by the City Hall they decided to organize alternative events during Semana Grande in San Sebastian, and other activities following the "popular model" without losing "neither the sense of humor nor irony nor protest. " This is a truly must go event!

Competition-International Fireworks Festival

Fireworks Contest in San Sebastian is the oldest of the West and one of the largest in the world. Since 1964, during the Semana Grande, every night a different pyrotechnic company launches fireworks from Alderdi Eder gardens on the bay of La Concha. The last day of the Semana Grande, right after the awards ceremony for the competition, there will be a fireworks and music show. Last year Caballer FX, pyrotechnical company from Valencia, won the “Concha de Oro”.



The Giants and the bigheaded

Eight giant and thirteen bigheaded will take a walk every day during the Semana Grande, for the sole purpose of having fun, dance and make people dance. Giant’s first steps on the streets of San Sebastian were in 1660, but then they stopped dancing for a long time, until they came back in 1982. Giants dance following the music of flutes and txistu. The bigheaded chase children and pedestrians in a juicy way. Laugh and cheering rules in the streets of San Sebastian.


Are you coming to San Sebastian for the week of the 15th of August? You will not regret! Enjoy your vacation in San Sebastian, Basque Country.
I hope you have a great experience during your stay in estancia en el Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra and enjoy your time in San Sebastian.

If there is anything we can assist you with please do not hesitate to ask our staff.

Best Regards,

Elena Estomba Garín
Assistant General Manager at Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.

Tags: Events, Festivals

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