San Sebastián is located in the Basque region in north Spain. The city holds, every year, on January 19th – 20th the La Tamborrda fiestas. In these are parades the marching tempo is caused by drummers who beat on ordinary drums and on barrel shape drums.
In the late evening of the January 19th, the parade’s participants, gather in Konstituzio plaza square in the old quarter “Alde Zaharra/Parte Vieja”.
Exactly on midnight, the major opens the events by raising the city flag and the parade starts. The quiet streets of San Sebastián turn into noisy streets with the beats of the drums and the rhythmical noise of the brass bands.
In the parade, part of the drummers dressed up like soldiers and part like cooks who wear white aprons with cook hats on their head. According to tradition, the drums parade commemorates the atmosphere of the days when the city was ruled by Napoleon’s soldiers who march, daily, in a military march accompanied with drummers from Monte Urgull area to the water well San Telmo while the city merchants and cooks stand on the road edges and mock them.
Later on, in 1850, the herring merchant Vicente Txiki provide the residents with barrels that were used as drums, so, with his initiative the drum parade started and is held up to nowadays.
An opportunity Pictures
It’s an absolutely amazing and unique festival. Prepare for it to rain – but this never bothers the residents. They’ll be up from middnight til 7am! Take a peak here to see pictures from last year.