Bilbao Festivals and Public Holidays

Carnaval:

Is a riotous sequence of events before the more reflective and serious 40 days of Lent.  Beginning on the Saturday before Ashe Wednesday and lasting until Shrove Tuesday, the city is abuzz with festivals, parades, music and all the visual fun of the carnival.

Is a riotous sequence of events before the more reflective and serious 40 days of Lent.  Beginning on the Saturday before Ashe Wednesday and lasting until Shrove Tuesday, the city is abuzz with festivals, parades, music and all the visual fun of the carnival.

Semana Santa:

Easter Week – Starting on Passion Friday the events of this Easter Week are

Easter Week – Starting on Passion Friday the events of this Easter Week are somber reminders of the Christian religious happenings during the first Christian Easter.  The parades are somber as befits the occasion.

Fant Festival:

This is a film festival of fantasy movies held in May and also includes workshops plus other related events.

Virgen del Carmen:

This religious event takes place in July.  It includes a procession of effigies of the Virgin which are taken through the streets to a flotilla of fishing boats harboured in the estuary, and on these boats the effigies are taken out to sea.

Semana Grande ( Aste Nagusia): 

Throughout the Basque area of Spain, August is the month for the fiesta, and it is the 3rd week that Bilbao holds its frivolous, enjoyable and thoroughly animated fiesta.  There are firework displays.  There is live music.  There are parties that last all night.  And during the day there are the flotillas and regattas, the Strongman Contest and the famed Spanish bullfights in the Plaza de Toros de Vista.  This is a celebration of Basque heritage, although with a religious connection as it is dedicated to the Virgin of Begoña.  But it is holiday time for Bilbao and many of the shops are closed because everyone is at the party!

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