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San Pelayo

Unlike many other towns, which celebrate the festivities of San Juan, in Zarautz it is the festivities of its patron saint San Pelayo that mark the start of summer. They will be held from 25th to 27th June, but it is 26th, the patron saint’s day, when the main festivities are celebrated, with the traditional procession in the Iñurritza meadows, attended by hundreds of people from Zarautz.



Tradition states that the origins of these festivities date back many centuries, when a severe storm caught some fishermen from Zarautz by surprise when they were fishing in the high seas. They began to pray to San Pelayo and, miraculously, the saint’s image appeared over the boat and guided them to the beach.

Nowadays, the music, sports and the groups of friends wearing colourful shirts are the focus of these festivities which get underway on 25th June with the starter rocket. The children’s parade, the adults’ Tamborrada (drum parade) and singing the hymn to San Pelayo at midnight to welcome the main day bring an end to the day’s celebrations.

26th June is the main day and the residents of the town go on the procession around the Chapel of San Pelayo. The following day, the town’s eligible men and women visit the farmhouses in the surrounding area accompanied by Basque flute and accordion players to collect money for the lunch on the following day. This tradition is known as ‘Oilasko Bilketa’.

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  • Euskadi Basque Country
  • Destinos Euskadi