Two of the most important festivals in San Sebastian are Tamborrada of Donostia and Aste Nagusia. Tamborrada is basically a 24-hour drum festival held each January. It originates from folklore which states the citizens of the cities mocked soldiers in the Carlist wars, by beating on buckets. Today, the celebration usually consists of a nice meal, a parade and lots of music. Aste Nagusia is a week-long festival originating in the 1800s, as a way for the rich to celebrate when they spent their holidays in the city. Held in August, it’s one of the city’s biggest events and quite the week of partying and debauchery. Fireworks, costumes and parades all add to the celebration.
San Sebastian is home to several major festivals including the International Jazz Festival and the San Sebastian International Film Festival. The Jazz Festival is held in July and has seen the likes of James Brown, B.B. King and Liza Minnelli perform at the festival. The festivals holds these concerts in several of the cities theaters and auditoriums as well as one the cities beaches.
The San Sebastian International Film Festival is held every September and attracts international attention. This film festival is one of the biggest in Europe and showcases over 200 films every year.
Other festivals that San Sebastian hosts include the Human Rights Film Festival, Dferia Theatre Fair and the Surfilm Festival.