Popular Festivities in Getxo
The most important festivities in Getxo are held in:
Due to its special nature, this part of Getxo holds some festivities of a popular kind each year, the most important being:
- The San Ignacio Festivities “Los San Ignacios de Algorta” July 31
The first of the more popular festivities in Algorta is held as a tribute to San Ignacio and it is the festivity for which the municipality is best known.
Its varied agenda brings together thousands of people who flock to the municipality to visit the barte tents or txoznas, watch the fireworks or attend the different open-air dances that are dotted all around the town.
These festivities begin with the popular Parade of Youth Groups, where the town’s young people parade in fancy dress together with their friends to celebrate the start of their town’s most special days.
Over these days, Algorta in its entirety takes part in the different festive events, highlighting musical performances, firework displays or the popular bull of fire.
Also worthy of mention is that this town also holds a popular Squid or Txipirones Contest which takes place in the Boitz-Alai square, where the culinary skills of the different participant youth groups are put to the test.
The beautiful Old Port in Algorta holds its festivities in August. The Algorta Old Port festivities are probably Getxo’s quintessential festivities.
Due to their location, these festivities have a particular charm. They respect the ancestral traditions and are famous for their performances of traditional Basque music, popular dances and competitions in the port where young people compete to win the trophy for climbing a greased pole and las alzadas, which must not be missed if you come to Getxo on these dates.
At night, the Old Port streets are full of music from concerts and local bars.
During the day, in the bustle of its small square, people come together to share barbecued sardines and enjoy different cultural events organised for entertainment during these festive days in Getxo’s beautiful Old Port district.
It was during these festivities that the popular long drink known as Kalimotxo (calimocho) came to be created, a drink comprising cola and wine, first drunk by young people from Getxo in the Old Port Festivities of 1972. You can learn the entire story of how the kalimotxo came into being here.
This popular farmers market is held annually on 10 August, where visitors can enjoy a fun day strolling among fruit and vegetable stalls selling produce from local Bizkaia (Biscay) farms and tasting typical products of the Basque gastronomy. The market is held in San Nicolás Square, where the multitude of tiny vegetable stalls mingle with others selling flowers, crafts and cured meats, all produced by Basque artisans. A very good opportunity to buy cheeses, market-garden produce and typical Basque confectionery.
Basque culinary traditions are deeply rooted in the town, which has published a book with its most popular recipes, just as their ancestors cooked them. You can download the Getxo Traditional Recipes book here free of charge.
- Corpus Christi Festivities – Algorta Old Port - June
There is one special day in the Algorta Old Port festivities calendar. Every year, 60 days before Easter Sunday, the small Old Port transforms its streets to celebrate a traditional festive day, as it has done in Algorta Old Port for the last 150 years.
There are references in the Getxo Town Hall minutes book dating back to 1870 and since then a day of festivities has been held every year in honour of the Sacred Heart, featuring street parades, processions and where participants share a popular meal of grilled sardines.
- The Andra Mari Festivities - Getxo 15 May
Renowned for its quiet residential atmosphere, this Getxo district has its own popular festivities: The festivities of San Isidro.
These festivities include activities for youngsters like the traditional Txokolatada de Malakate, bouncy castles, children’s open-air dance and games rounded off with a tea party. There are also concerts, exhibitions of traditional Basque sports, a pelota mano championship (a typical game played by hitting a ball against a wall with your hand), popular street meals, workshops to make traditional corn tortillas known as talo, and much, much more.
- Paellas in Aixerrota – Andra-Mari – Getxo 25 July
Andra Mari hosts one of the most charming festivities in the municipality of Getxo: The Aixerrota International Paella Competition.
On this date, all the Getxo residents come together in this spot joined by their friends and relatives to cook a paella to enter the popular competition. This initiative started on 25 July 1956, when three people from Getxo organised a popular open-air paella to share with attendees on the esplanades in Aixerrota, Getxo.
Every year, hundreds of groups of friends come to the Aixerrota Esplanades to eat paella, drink sangria and to enjoy a day in the best of company.
Repeated attendance by groups from other countries has given the competition international status.
The Paellas in Aixerrota have become a reference on the local calendar and it is one of the most endearing festivities held in this municipality.
The Asociación Itxas-Argia is in charge of co-ordinating the Aixerrota International Paella Competition, and its official website offers further information about this event that is so endearing for the town of Getxo.
*View programmes and final dates on the calendar
The patron saint’s festivities are held in Las Arenas on the day of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy), and its various neighbourhoods have specific dates on which the patron saint’s festivities are days devoted to local celebrations.
- Las Arenas – Areeta – Las Mercedes 24 September
This district has held its festivities in honour of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes on the last weekend in September. These festivities include a varied programme of activities that convert the peace and quiet of this Getxo district from Friday to Sunday into a party atmosphere with entertainment for all ages.
Las Arenas – Areeta is, moreover, a cultural centre for the town of Getxo. Midway through November, its Square is the venue of the Comic .
- Santa Ana – Las Arenas 26 July
These festivities held in the residential Santa Ana district in Areeta – Las Arenas include activities such as musical concerts, sardine barbecues, a children’s angling competition, multi-adventure, Basque dances, a football championship, a foam party, water war and much, much more.
- Festitivities in Romo - Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels) 2 August
Situated next to Areeta – Las Arenas, the Romo district celebrates the festivities of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.
The festivities in Romo are famous for their varied activity programme and their great nightlife. The pintxos, going from bar to bar for a drink of wine or o poteo as it is called locally, and the popular “pancetadas” (barbecued pork meals in the open air) fill the festivities of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles with flavour, and they also include numerous concerts and dance bands.
Pintxo contests in the bars, parades or kalejira, txistorra (a variety of cured sausage), obstacle races for youth groups or cuadrillas, traditional Basque dances, sardine barbecues… If you are in Getxo on those dates, don’t hesitate to come and experience the atmosphere in Romo.
You can get the Old Port´s cooking book here for free.