Get ready to celebrate as Bilbao host the biggest party of the year!

On August 22nd Bilbao welcomes back its annual 9 day festival, The Aste Nagusia.

The Aste Nagusia (Big Week) festival begins as crowds gather at the iconic Arriaga Theatre on the banks of the Nervion River. When here a rocket is shot into the sky (known as; the txupinazo) this is shortly followed by the festivals mascot, Marijaia, making her grand entrance onto the balcony.

Once this is complete; let the festival begin!

Are you into Basque culture? Well, this event certainly is as it celebrates the culture to its fullest. Ranging from traditional Basque dancing to rural Basque sports such as wood chopping and stone carrying competitions.

The streets are lined with tents offering a variety of different food and drink options. They serve delicious food based on different cultures and thus appeals to all, yes, even children!

Talking about children, the festival itself has multiple ways of keeping them entertained and making this a memorable experience. There are parades of giants and the Garantua, who devours the children who enter his mouth (But don’t worry, inside the Garantua is a slide for the children to exit safely while having fun).

What would a Spanish festival be without bullfights?

The Aste Nagusia is no exception to this tradition and even offers the chance for you to join in the fun. The bulls used are infact calves and have their horns padded for your safety. Although, this does not mean there is zero risk it does reduce it significantly to the other well-known tradition ‘encierro’ (running of the bulls) in Pamplona.

All of the daily events are followed by a nightly fireworks competition which, light up the city’s sky with bright, wild colours. After the fireworks there are loads of concerts and even more partying!

The festival ends with a twist as Marijaia is lovingly set ablaze, they say that her hands are raised into the air as a sign of optimism and to symbolize dancing.

So make sure you visit the Aste Nagusia (Big Week) festival in 2015 and make it the biggest party Bilbao has ever seen.

For more information on the festival visit here.

Do you like the sound of this event but have nowhere to stay?

Why not book accommodation at Hotel Inn Express, situated near Bilbao airport it is an ideal holiday accommodation. With excellent restaurants near-by and a short drive from the main city this location is perfect to enjoy the festival as well as relax on a little break from your everyday life.

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