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Friday, April 20, 2012 (read 1811 times)

Semana Grande and Herri Kirolak in Bilbao

by Kimberly

The term “herri kirolak” comes from the Basque language and refers to Basque rural sport competitions that are inspired by historical occupations and lifestyles of the Basque people. Herri kilorak sports are also an important part of the Semana Grande festival in Bilbao.

Basque people are said to believe themselves as some of the strongest and bravest people in the world. In Bilbao, Spain, this is really put to the test during a large festival in which herri kilorak traditional rural sports competitions are held.

During Semana Grande (Big Week, or “Aste Nagusia” in the Basque language) a series of strength tests are held that are based on the traditional agricultural work found in the Basque country since ancient times. The herri kirolak games include wood chopping, stone lifting, hole drilling, bale lifting and tossing, weight carrying, anvil lifting, cob gathering, churn carrying, scything, cart games, tug-of war, sawing and much more.

The nine day Semana Grande celebration takes place every summer starting on the first Saturday after August 15th, the Assumption of Mary. During the Semana Grande in Bilbao, not only will visitors be able to witness herri kirolak games, but also a wide range of events including parades, fireworks, concerts, bullfights, children activities and much more.  Stages are set up throughout the city to host the events including in the Plaza Nueva, Plaza de Bizkaia, Plaza de Unamuno, Plaza de la Encarnación or the Muelle de Uribitarte. However, the opening ceremony takes place at the Arriaga Theatre.

Head to Bilbao in August for Semana Grande to watch the traditional herri kirolak games and discover if Basque men are really the most macho in the world.

Keywords: herri kirolak, semana grande, aste nagusia, big week bilbao, basque sports, basque rural sports, herri kilorak, basque country sports, basque sport, basque people, basque customs, basque traditions, basque games, basque culture

Posted In: Travel, Spain, Culture


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