Fiesta in the Basque Country

Fiesta in the Basque Country
Fiesta in Bilbao
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Everywhere in Spain, from small village to the largest city, a couple of days are devoted to a local fiesta. The classic cause for celebration is the worship of a local saint, but in fact there may be found any excuse - from harvest to a successful return from fishing. However, in the north of Spain in the administrative center of the province of Biscaya, and in the largest city of the Basque Country - Bilbao, the local fiesta is significantly different from similar celebrations in other parts of the country. The main fiesta called in Bilbao Aste Nagusia (a Great Week) and it's not just words, this week is really big, as it is celebrated for 9 days.

Aste Nagusia begins on August 15, when in the evening on the main square, the mayor is firing in the air from the cannon. And his assistants carry a great doll - Marihaja, this means the beginning of the festivities. Marihaja is the main character of the carnival and although during the processions and festivities in the streets you can see a lot of giant puppets with large deliberately grotesque heads, major celebrations devoted to the main character.

During the week the city is full of parades, performances, fireworks and all kinds of shows. Each day of the feast is held the traditional Basque competition of strongest men with timbersports and bull fights. Corrida in Spain is an integral part of every folk festival. Another feature of Aste Nagusia is a lot of tents and stalls with refreshments, which are offered to all for free. Local restaurants build tents, where everybody can drink, eat and get acquainted with the national Basque cuisine that many consider to be the best in Spain. The Great Week ends on 23 August when at the same square where it started there held the burning of the Marahaja doll.

Date: 08/08/2009


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