The Cantabrian capital celebrates its festivities at the end of July in honor of Santiago, patron of Spain
The ‘Semana Grande of Santander’, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, finds its current origin in the mid-nineteenth century, when the City Council decided to extend some successful festivals that were held in summer with fairs and bullfights. The cattle exhibition completed the stalls of churros (kind of fritter), dances, games or carousels. It is celebrated around July 25, the festivity of Santiago.
It begins in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall Square) with the ‘chupinazo’ (rocket launched), the parade of the ‘Gigantillas’ (giants and bigheaded) and the inauguration of the Day Fair, composed of gastronomic booths catering establishments that offer a variety of snacks and drinks. In the following days the city is filled with parades, children’s activities, performing arts shows, fireworks, popular contests, concerts in different parts of the city: Jardines de Piquío, Plaza Porticada or Palacio de Deportes; popular festivals in the auditorium of San Roque park, in El Sardinero …
Folklore and local bands also play an important role during the holidays. The Day Fair has booths spread over seven areas of the city: Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Alameda de Oviedo, Plaza de Pombo, Plaza del Cuadro, Plaza Alfonso XIII, Puertochico and Parque de Mesones. And the ‘Peñas’ (festive groupings of people) have a special role in the animation of the ‘Fiestas’ and organize their own activities. There are five: La Pera, La Pirula, La Panderetuca, El Desfiladero and Los Vividores.
In addition, among the main attractions is the Bullfighting Fair of Santiago, which takes place in the Cuatro Caminos arena and is one of the most important in Northern Spain.
This year Santander will host seven festivities: a steers-bullfight, one with horses and five bullfights. The fair will complete a show of equestrian and flamenco art.
Happy week, bullfighting lovers!