The Basque are known as the people who dance and sing at the foot of the Pyrenees! The Basques truly have a rich and ancient cultural heritage, and they do not hesitate to highlight this at colourful festivals. There are over 3,000 yearly celebrations in the Basque Country which are eagerly attended by the local inhabitants. Whether religious, pastoral, rural or urban, the holidays are a special time to connect with old traditions. The cultural revival in recent years and the growing tourist interest in the area Provide a new draw for these events that showcase dance, music and singing.

TOP EVENTS

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TARDETS: Haute-Soule Carnaval (February)

SAINT-PÉE-SUR-NIVELLE: Herri Urrats (May)

BAYONNE: Fêtes de Bayonne (July-August)

SAINT-PALAIS: Festival de la force basque (August)

MAULÉON-LICHARRE: Fête de l’espadrille (August)

ESPELETTE: Peper Festival (October)

LEKEITIO: San Pedro Celebrations (May)

LAGUARDIA: San Juan Celebrations (June)

SAN SEBASTIÁN: Jazz Festival (July)

IRUN: San Marcial Celebrations(July)

BILBAO: Bilbao BBK Live Festival (July)

VITORIA-GASTEIZ: Virgen Blanca Celebrations (August)

ALSASUA: Alsasua Carnaval (February)

RONCAL: Roncal Valley Log Rafts Festival (May)

LESAKA: San Fermin Celebrations (July)

PAMPLONA: San Fermin Celebrations(July)

ESTELLA: Fiestas Patronales (July)

TUDELA: Santa Ana Celebrations (July)

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A BASQUE FESTIVAL

Basque festivals are the expression of well established traditions and are often linked to Catholicism. The Corpus Christi Celebrations that take place each year in the small town of Oñati provide a good example of this phenomenon. Events showcase colourful processions where one can see live performances of the Apostles, the Archangel Michael and Christ alongside dancers moving to the sound of castanets and the txistu, the Basque flute.

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