This January 20, 2021, the drums and barrels will not parade through San Sebastián to celebrate its big day and the thousands of people who annually parade through its streets dressed in Napoleonic military costumes or chefs will have to stay at home to comply with the measures against the coronavirus.
It is not the first time that the San Sebastian celebration has been canceled. The Carlist Wars, snowfalls, heavy rains, conflicts arising from the prohibition of sokamuturra, the Civil War and the state of emergency have been some of the historical reasons that have left Donostia without its patronal celebration since it began to celebrate the Tamborrada of the day of San Sebastián, documented for the first time in 1876. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be the 16th time that this party has been canceled.
Despite this, the San Sebastián City Council has made an appeal so that, from their homes, the people of San Sebastian celebrate the big day and hang blue and white flags in their windows and balconies in honor of the festival. For his part, the mayor, Eneko Goia, has stressed that January 20 “does not change for the people of San Sebastian” and has invited the citizens to “show their pride in being San Sebastian” although he has admitted that “what we would like the most is to be able to enjoy the party in company and playing the drum, but it can’t be. “
The City Council has distributed over the weekend 10,000 flags of San Sebastián to hang on the balconies and the Plaza de la Constitución, although it may not be the scene of the classic bustle that year after year is celebrated on this day, at least it will have The San Sebastian flag is raised for the 24 hours of the party.
This 2021, in addition, a special date took place: it is 160 years since Raimundo Sarriegi wrote the notes of the March of San Sebastián, which were later completed with the lyrics of Serafín Baroja. To celebrate it, representatives of 80 tambourine companies, together with the music band of the conservatory teachers, the Orfeón Donostiarra, the Kresala and Goizaldi dance groups and the Easo Choir have participated in a recording at the Victoria Eugenia theater in Las Sarriegi marches. With it, what is intended is that the people of Donostia, from their homes, can create their own tambourines following the recording through ETB or on the digital channels of the San Sebastián City Council (donostia.eus) and (danborrada.donostiakultura.eus).
With the aim that the streets of Donostia join the party, the City Council has organized an exhibition of Tamborrada costumes that will be displayed in shop windows in all neighborhoods of the city. For this, it has yielded 86 costumes, 55 for adults and 31 for the children’s Tamborrada.
Despite the attempts to celebrate a Tamborrada according to the pandemic, the holiday does not change for San Sebastián the restrictions of the Basque Government to avoid contagion of the coronavirus. For this reason, gastronomic societies – locals in which the festival is usually celebrated with a large concentration of people – will not be able to open. In addition, the curfew will remain at 22.00 and you will not be able to meet with more than six people on the street.