St Thomas Day San Sebastian
St Thomas Day San Sebastian - As tourist guides of San Sebastián, one of the questions that most visitors ask us when these dates are approaching is: what is Saint Thomas Day? Is it worth visiting San Sebastián that day? Will there be much fuss? Let's be honest: Yes, that day Donosti (San Sebastián) is overflowing with people, but it can be quite an experience! Eat, drink, walk among the crowd, eat again, drink again ...
In any case, below we will explain in summary and roughly what this party consists of, and we do it through the basic vocabulary.
Basic words in Euskera language to enjoy the Day of 'Santo Tomás' (St. Thomas)
Sagardoa - Txistorra - Baserritarra - Txorimalo - Txerria
Sagardoa - Means cider (in Spanish: sidra). As you can see, we start with the drink (calm, now we will go with the food). It literally means "apple juice" and it is a low alcoholic beverage (around 5%). However, it's easy being reckless and drink more than necessary. From Free Tour San Sebastian we suggest drinking moderately to enjoy the full day.
Txistorra - It comes from the word in txistor (longaniza = pork sausage) and is one of the protagonists of the day. It is a kind of 'chorizo' made with pork, garlic, salt and paprika that provides that reddish color. Warning: you will not be able to eat only one, you will want to repeat ... And besides, it is common to eat it with the "talo", a kind of corn cake typical of the Basque Country and Navarre.
Baserritarra - Could be translated as "farmer", although in reality the baserritarra is just the person who lives in the baserri (hamlet). It is typical that basque people get dress as a baserritarra during the Fair of Santo Tomás, as is the origin of this fair.
Formerly, the tenants of the lands (the peasants who cultivated them) had to go one day every year to pay the rents to the owners of the hamlets, bourgeois people who lived in San Sebastian. They took advantage of the trip from the countryside to the city to sell products from the farm, but also to buy items that were only available in the cities. Thus, was created a Fair that is celebrated on December 21st in honor of St. Thomas.
A good way to understand what a basarritarra is, could be watching the film Handia, winner of no less than 12 Goyas (the major Film Awards in Spain) last year 2017. The protagonist (the giant of Altzo) was a baserritarra. The film explains very well how they lived during the "Carlist wars" in the XIX century.
St Thomas Day San Sebastian 2018 - contests
There are several contests during this day in the old quarter of Donosti, all related to the field:
Txorimalo - Scarecrow. During the feast day there is a Scarecrow Contest. All of them are exhibited in the middle of the city. The participants take it seriously, because the first place is rewarded with 500€ prize.
Txerria - It means pig. Every year a pig is exhibited in the Plaza de la Constitución, and sold. Do not forget that the txistorra, which is made from pork, also has its own contest. This year 2018 the XXIII edition of the Txistorra Contest of Basque Country is celebrated, starting at 11:00 am in the Plaza Gipuzkoa. It is also very striking the Contest of Products of the Field, that is celebrated in the Square of the Constitution from the 9:00 am , where the participants expose products of San Sebastian farmers, all of them own production and best quality, fulfilling thus with the bases of this contest.
This special day, December 21 st, we don't offer our daily tours because moving around the city is complicated and it's better to live by yourself this party that only takes place one day a year.
The rest of the days we await you in our daily FREE TOUR in the historical center of San Sebastian!