San Roque

These are the Patron Saint of Portugalete’s Feast Days and they have a tradition going back centuries.

 

They start on the 14th of August with the rocket and the reading of the proclamation from the balconies of the Council Offices. From this moment onwards, the streets are flooded with music and fun, with street parties and all kinds of shows and functions for children, and young and old alike.

 

Diana Portugaluja

 

On the 15th, the feast day of the Patron Saint of the Town, thousands of people congregate in front of the Council Offices first thing in the morning to carry out the ‘Diana Portugaluja’. Its aim is to wake up all the people of Portugalete to invite them to the party. The Municipal Band is in charge of the music, so people come without any instruments. After approximately two hours, they reach the Plaza de la Ranchería, where the enormous choir will comfort their voices with garlic soup.

 

Due to the important amount of people attending the traditional Diana in recent years, in order for the event to run smoothly, the groups and cultural associations of Portugalete request the following:

  • Participants must not come with instruments (drums, cymbals, etc) as the music is the responsibility of the Municipal Band.
  • Before the start of the Diana song, we will remain silent for a few moments in order to be able to all start at the same time, along with the Band.
  • We will respect the musicians’ space to prevent any clashes, as has occurred on previous occasions.
  • We will not clap.
  • Participants should try to wear white shirts, blue trousers and neckerchiefs.

 

Dances, street parties, etc., with fireworks exploding over the unbeatable background of the estuary.

 

The sixteenth of August, the central day of the festivities, is the Feast Day of San Roque. A procession starts from the Council Offices, winding its way to the hermitage, where the “aurresku” of honour takes place. The Mayor then places the festivities’ neckerchief around the neck of the Patron Saint of the festivities.
At 6.30 pm, the ‘Gran Bajada’ or Descent starts, which descends from the hermitage, through the streets to the Plaza del Solar, where the ‘Baile de la Hora’ or ‘Hour Dance’ takes place.

 

To bring an end to the festivities, we will celebrate San Roquillo, which during the day is dedicated to the children. At night, the ‘jarrilla’ will be burnt, the symbol, mascot and muse of the festivities, whose origin lies in the nickname given to the people of Portugalete of ‘jarilleros’, due to their traditional fondness of drinking using these little jugs in the old txacoli and cider bars.