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Tamborrada: San Sebastian's most important festivity

The tamborrada is one of the main celebrations on San Sebastian Day, patron of the city, that is celebrated on the 20th of January.

The celebration begins at 00:00 in the Constitución square with the flag-raising. The Gaztelubide Gastronomic Society and representatives of other tamborradas, are in charge of interpreting the melodies of local musician Raimundo Sarriegui with the words written by Serafin Baroja, father of the famous writer Pio Baroja.

The tamborrada begins!

Drums that sound in every corner of the city for 24 hours straight.



Its origin dates back to the 1830´s and was born as comparsa Carnival in San Sebastian until the demolition of the walls in 1863 which was a military town, every morning a small military parade was held that crossed the Old Town, from the San Telmo Headquarters (San Telmo Museum today) to the Puerta de Tierra in the walls (now defunct, where the Boulevard now stands), to proceed with the changing of the guard.

It was predictable that in a city where the Carnival lived in a very intense way arise at some point a parody of those parades, as it were.

In the beginnig they each disguised themselves differently and in a jocular manner in a parade at five o´clock accompanied the reveille to announce the sokamuturra (roped bulls very popular at the time). In fact, it was suspended as a protest between the years 1902 and 1905 because the mayor considered it too dangerous. 

Once again to be authorized the sokamuturra, the tamborrada was recuperated.

Now a days more than 125 companies participate, made up of 70 to 150 people and their suits, given its already large number welcomes uniforms from other geographic locations.

More than 5000 boys and girls flood the city with color and joy participating with their own tamborrada in an act that is celebrated the 20th of January at 12 o´clock noon.

The Union Artesana Gastronomic Society at 24:00h is in charge of closing the ceremony with the hauling down of the flag.


San Sebastißn