Donostia-San Sebastián is a beautiful city in the Basque Country. It is famous for its International film festival. The Donostiarras, like citizens of this city call themselves, are also proud of their Tamborrada or the feast of Saint Sebastian. It is held on the 20th of January.

Everything starts at midnight when the mayor raises the city flag on the Konstituzio Plaza (Constitution Square). For 24 hours thousands of people are playing drums or barrels.

Tamborrada in Donostia-San Sebastián
Tamborrada in Donostia-San Sebastián

Participants from different communities are dressed as cooks or soldiers. School children are also part of the festival. Their groups wear clothes typical for different European countries. The festival has its set of marches. The most famous of them is the "March of San Sebastian". They were composed in 1861 by Raimundo Sarriegui. The lyrics sung along in these marches were written by Serafin Baroja.

The Tamborrada also includes big meals in local "gourmet clubs". They are organized for the adults with lot of seafood and high quality wines.

Like many festivals this one has a legend about its origin. In 1720 one of city bakers was filling water barrels from the fountain close to the Saint Vincent church. While doing so he started to sing. A group of women was passing by. They started to accompany him by beating the barrels. More people started to arrive and join them in having a party.