What to do in December 2018 in the Basque Country – Cultural, Congress and Sport Agenda


Our selection of best art, sport & cultural events in the Basque Country during December 2018.

In Saint Jean de Luz. Theatrical encounter with the corsairs. December 27th.

Best Basques traditions and festivities:

  • In Mirandaola / Legazpi. The visit to the Olentzero. Excursion that begins in the Museum of the Basque Iron, then by the park of Mirandaola, in search of olentzero and ends in the ironworks of Mirandaola. From November 3rd until December 23rd.
  • In Guernica - Lumo. Snail Day. Tasting and tasting snails. Horticultural fair. Exhibition and sale of Basque handicrafts. December 1st.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Belen Monumental. Popular tradition since 1962. Composed of more than 200 human figures, buildings and hundreds of animals and accessories. Florida Park. From December 1st until January 6th, 2019.
  • In Atxondo. Agricultural and craft fair. Sale of products from the hamlets of the Duranguesado region and promotion of organic products. December 2nd.
  • In Barakaldo. Santa Barbara Fair. Exhibition and sale of craft products. Exhibition and demonstration of crafts linked to mining. December 2nd.
  • In Gordexola. Agricultural, livestock and artisan fair. Provincial Friesian race contest. Contest-exhibition of the donkey of the encartaciones. Exhibition and sale of various products. Exhibition of local cattle. December 2nd.
  • In Murieta. Txarriki Eguna. Day of the autochthonous pig. Tasting and tasting of pork products and agricultural products. December 2nd.
  • In Errezil. Fair of the Ibarri apple. Exhibition and sale of local products. December 2nd.
  • In Ormaiztegi. Fair of products of the Basque Country. XXXII Black pudding contest. XXI Fair and contest of blood sausage components. XVII Gastronomic contest of dishes made with morcilla de Ormaiztegi. December 2nd.
  • In Mungia. Cattle market. Cattle, wool, horses and goats. Machinery and agricultural tools. December 2nd and 16th.
  • In Izurtza. Gaztardogi Fair. VIII Edition. Tasting of cheese, wine and bread. Exhibition of products of the farmhouse and tasting of Chicken with Basque Level. December 6th.
  • In Durango. Euskal denda. XXIII Professional fair of the Basque artisan sector. Exhibition and sale of crafts and agro-food. From December 6th until 9th.
  • In Elorrio. Buzkantz Jaia. Festival of blood sausage. Contest of blood sausages and pintxos made with blood sausage. Fair of producers of the region and artisans. From December 6th until 9th.
  • In San Sebastian. Luxury cider. Sagardo Apurua. Boulevard (next to the kiosk). The freshly made cider is transported through the Urumea river to Donostia. Afterwards, a party is held to raise awareness of the culture and customs of cider. From December 6th until 9th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Ardoaraba: Wine Fair. Route of bars and presentations of pintxos and wine tasting of Rioja Alavesa. The shops on the street will be from December 6th until 10th.
  • In Tolosa. Fair of the Chuleton. Food Fair. Meals and dinners of grills. From December 7th until December 9th.
  • In Gorliz. Agricultural and craft fair of La Inmaculada. Fair of Christmas products. December 8th.
  • In Mendaro. Agricultural and livestock fair. XXIV Kontzezio Azoka. Exhibition and sale of various products. Exhibition of cattle. VIII Cider contest. December 8th.
  • In Altzo. Agricultural and craft fair of local products. December 9th.
  • In Urretxu. Agricultural Fair of Saint Lucia. Contest of birds (chickens and capons), fruits and vegetables. Wine competition of Rioja Alavesa and honey from Gipuzkoa. Crafts Fair. December 9th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Concert 'Ametsak - Dreams'. Municipal Band of Music. Guests: Duo Antwer, formed by the Hong Kong marimbist Adilia Yip and the bass clarinetist Daniel Belloví. Main Theater Antzokia. December 12th.
  • In Zumarraga. Cattle and agricultural fair of Santa Lucia. Prizes: equine (beef horse fitness, "pottoka", mountain horse of the Basque Country), birds (chickens and capons), fruits, vegetables, pippin apple. Exhibition of country products, machinery, hardware, crafts, leather goods .... December 13th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Mazoka - Market of Drawing and Illustration. Graphic festival of lovers of drawing and illustration, and various related parallel activities: musical performances, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, etc. Old Water Deposit. From December 14th until 16th.
  • In Bilbao. GABONART. XXXVI Christmas Craft Fair. Exhibition and sale of craft products. From December 14th until January 6th, 2019.
  • In Bilbao. Agricultural and livestock fair. Euskadi competition of Terreña breed cow. Exhibition of agri-food and artisan products. Bread and cheese contest. Dishes of beef roast with Eusko Label. December 15th.
  • In Irun. Agricultural fair. Sale and exhibition of agricultural products. December 15th.
  • In Pasaia. Agricultural fair. Saint Thomas Day. Exhibition and sale of farm products. Exhibition of cattle. December 15th or 16th.
  • In Anglet. Christmas market. Approximately forty artisans, songs, music, presentations, creative workshop for children ... Cinq Cantons Square. December all month.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Christmas is also celebrated at Les Halles Market!. Victor Hugo Boulevard. From December 15th until 31st.
  • In Leioa. Agricultural and livestock fair. Cattle display. Idiazabal cheese competition of Biscay producers. Exhibition and sale of farm products. Workshops related to agriculture and livestock. December 16th.
  • In Otxandio. Agricultural and livestock fair. Exhibition and sale of farm products and crafts. December 16th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Christmas Farmers' and Craft Market. Exhibition, sale and tasting of agricultural and livestock products mainly from Alava producers. Contest and exhibition of birds. December 20th.
  • In Biarritz. Halles of Biarritz Market. Traders with a common philosophy, that of "Authenticity & Know-How". Rue des Halles. From December 20th until 31st.
  • In Bilbao. Agricultural fair. LXXI Edition of the Saint Thomas Fair. Exhibition and contest of products of the hamlet. December 21st.
  • In Amurrio. Agricultural and craft fair. Christmas market. Exhibition and sale of homemade products: honey, cheese, txakoli, etc. December 21st.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Candle Night. On Friday before Christmas Eve the fire announces the arrival of Christmas. More than 15,000 candles decorate the streets and main squares: Matxete Square, The Arquillos, Saint Miguel Balcony, Burullería Square, ... December 21st.
  • In San Sebastián, Azpeitia, Errenteria, Irun, Hondarribia, Usurbil, Arrasate/Mondragón, Mutriko, Tolosa and Lekeitio. Feast of St. Thomas. Popular festival with gastronomy, Basque sports, traditional music,... waiting for Christmas. December 21st and 22nd.
  • In Barakaldo, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Irún and San Sebastian. Children's Christmas Park. Wide range of activities to enjoy in family, especially for the children of the house. Bilbao Exhibition Center (December 21st - January 8th). BAKH of Vitoria-Gasteiz (December 23rd to January 4th). Kursaal San Sebastian (December 22nd - January 4th). FICOBA Irun (from December 26th until January 4th). Estimated dates.
  • In Arrasate / Mondragón. Feast of "Santamasak". December 22nd.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Parade of Santa Claus. Downtown. December 22nd.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Living Basque nativity and farm. College Square. From December 22nd until 31st.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Christmas hearing. Saint John the Baptist Church. December 23rd.
  • In Guernica - Lumo. Contest of the Basque Country of snails. XXXXII Edition. Tasting, demonstration and gastronomic competition. Snails, choriceros peppers ... December 23rd.
  • In Lezo. Agricultural and livestock fair. Exhibition and sale of local farm products and exhibition of animals. December 23rd.
  • In Bilbao. Cavalcade of the Olentzero. In the Basque Country, Olentzero is the person in charge to announce the Christmas and distribute gifts between the boys and girls of the night of the 24 of December. Near to Arriga Theatre. December 23rd and 24th (in the morning). Similar activities are also carried out in many Basque cities and towns.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Christmas 2018: Ultra Park. Urdazuri Gymnasium. From December 23rd until January 5th, 2019.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz and San Sebastián. The Olentzero and Mary Domingi Cavalcade is celebrated on December 24th.
  • In Galdames. Ogi Eguna XXXI Craft bread fair. Exhibition and sale of bakery products: flour, Basque cake, muffins ... etc. Craft bread contest. Exhibition and sale of craft products. December 24th.
  • In Ordizia. Christmas Fair. Errezil's Reineta apple contest. Contest and exhibition of nuts and fruits. Exhibition of turkeys, capons, geese ... Sale and exhibition of farm products. December 26th.
  • In Zestoa. Agricultural fair. XXIX Fruit and Vegetable Contest. XXI Urola honey contest. XX Cheese, cider and tasting contest. Sale of farm products. December 26th.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Theatrical encounter with the corsairs. Foch Place (in front of the municipal police). December 27th.
  • In Bayonne. Between Holidays (Festival). December 28th.
  • In Elgoibar. Agricultural and livestock fair. Gabon Zahar. Contest and sale of fruits and vegetables. Sale and exhibition of local products and cheese contest. Exhibition and exhibition of donkeys of the Encartaciones, goats, ponies, Basque pig. Fair of cattle and sale of tools of the rural sector. December 29th.
  • In Bayonne. Baionan Kantuz: Traditional Songs. Is an animation where all audiences are invited to sing Basque folk songs. Lacarre Square from 11h to 11h35, and pillory fountain from 11h35 to 12h15. December 31st.
In Bilbao. Queen Tribute: Show must go on!. Euskalduna Palace. December 30th

Regarding arts, congress and exhibits in Basque Country:

  • In Bilbao. Opera: Fidelio. Euskalduna Palace. From November 24th until December 3rd.
  • In Bilbao. Concert by Benito Lertxundi: Ospakizun Gaudean. He is a renowned Basque singer-songwriter. Arriaga Theater. December 2nd.
  • In Bilbao. "Decades World Tour" by NIGHTWISH. These Finns are the ultimate expression of the most careful symphonic heavy metal, and one of the most important bands in the music scene with Floor Jansen as vocalist. BEC- Bizkaia Arena. December 2nd.
  • In San Sebastian. Euskararen Eguna. Basque Language Day. Different events are organized throughout the city. December 3rd.
  • In Durango. Durangoko Azoka. Durango Fair. The Durango Basque Book and CD / Record Fair is an event held annually. It is considered the biggest showcase of Basque culture as it is an ideal place to find out about works from Basque publishers and record companies. This event is a meeting place for Basque speakers and those interested in Basque culture. From December 5th until 9th.
  • In Biarritz. Karvan Trio in Concert. A sublime and fascinating journey in world music. The East accompanies us but the West is also with us. Brilliant arabesques made of jazz nuances, of swing splashes captivate us. Mathieu Bélis (piano), Guillaume Barraud (bansuri flutes) and Mossy Amidi Fard (daf, tombak, Persian voice) combine their talent for an exceptional moment. First part from 8pm to 9pm: Txalaparta (Basque percussion) Paxkal INDO and Paxkalin CHABAGNO. Live accordion Jesus Aured. Gare du Midi Theater. December 7th.
  • In Bilbao. Mendi Film Festival. Cinema and activities related to mountain, adventure and risk sports, including: talks, exhibitions and conferences in the streets of the capital of Biscay. From December 7th until 16th.
  • In Bilbao. Fun and Serious Game Festival. Euskalduna Palace, Guggenheim Museum, Azkuna Zentroa. The Fun & Serious Game Festival is Europe's biggest videogame event and has become a reference point for the industry. Its mission is to recognize and boost the work of videogame producers, directors, artists and developers, through a complete program that takes conferences, round tables, networking and activities both for companies and the general public. From December 7th until 12th.
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Concert of Benito Lertxundi. Jai Alai Fronton. December 9th.
  • In Bilbao. Concerts: Ametsetan. The soprano from Donostia Miren Urbieta-Vega and the Baracaldés pianist Rubén Fdez. Aguirre (valuable Basque artists) pay tribute to the Basque song through their best composers. Arriaga Theater. December 10th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Cultural Heritage: innovating on past and future. For the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Europe Congresses Palace. December 11th and 12th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Araba Encounter. Massive gathering of amateur and computer professionals, who seek to exchange knowledge and perform, for several days, all kinds of activities related to computers. The event is complemented with games, contests, conferences, workshops, etc. Europe Palace of Congresses. From December 14th until 16th (date to be confirmed).
  • In Saint Jean de Luz. Concert: Luigi Grasso & Rossano Sportiello. Ravel Auditorium. December 15th.
  • In San Sebastian. Underwater cinema cycle. Main Theater (Calle Mayor). Program of free sessions in which life in the depths of the sea becomes the real protagonist. From December 15th until 17th.
  • In Bilbao. Children's Christmas Park 2018-19. Bilbao Exhibition Center. Pavilions 3 and 5. From December 19th, 2018 to January 5th, 2019. Closed: December 25th and January 1st, 2019.
  • In Bilbao. Ballet: The Nutcracker. Moscow State Ballet and soloists of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. Euskalduna Palace. December 22nd.
  • In Bilbao. Madagascar: The Musical. Euskalduna Palace. From December 27th to 29th.
  • In Bilbao. Dance PinoXXIo. It is a show with seven Max Awards, including the Best Show for all audiences. By the company Ananda Dansa, National Dance Prize 2006. Arriaga Teatro. From December 27th until 29th.
  • In Biarritz. Malandain Ballet Biarritz - Romantic Reverie & Sirens. Gare du Midi Theater. From December 28th until 30th.
  • In Bilbao. Ara Malikian: Corral of comedies. A show of lights never seen and a spectacular sound. Classical music band? rock? Fanfares of the Balkans? Drums, guitar, viola, cello, double bass and Indian percussion. BEC. December 29th.
  • In Bilbao. Queen Tribute: Show must go on !. Euskalduna Palace. December 30th.
  • In Getaria. "Balenciaga. Fashion and Heritage". Exhibition that shows the evolution of the work of the couturier in its successive stages and aspires to become a reference sample to understand and know in depth the legacy generated by Balenciaga: where he comes from, what he contributes in his time, and what he transmits to us today. Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum. Until January 29th, 2019.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. The "Crucified Christ" by José Ribera. Fine Arts Museum. Baroque work, 1643. After 8 years of laborious restoration the work will be able to be seen along with two other creations by José Ribera: Saint Peter and Saint Pablo. Until January 31st, 2019.
  • In Bilbao. "Alberto Giacometti, Retrospective". One of the most influential sculptors-painters of the 20th century. Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao. From October 19th until February 24th, 2019.
  • In Bilbao. "From Van Gogh to Picasso. The Thannhauser legacy." Thannhauser Collection of the Guggenheim in New York. Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao. From September 21st, 2018 until March 24th, 2019.
  • In Bilbao. Exhibition "ABC, The alphabet of the Bilbao Museum". On this occasion, it is the words - following the alphabetical order - that order the exhibition. Art and literature are fused through an extended alphabet. It will bring together masterpieces by Lucas Cranach the Elder, José de Ribera, Murillo, Zurbarán, Martin de Vos, Goya, Gauguin, Zuloaga, Sorolla, Chillida, Oteiza, Francis Bacon and Antoni Tàpies, among others. Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao. From October 29th, 2018 until June 2nd, 2019.
In Vitoria-Gasteiz. 40th Half marathon. Sunday, December 16th

Regarding Basques and others sports:

  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. Ice skating in the White Virgin Square. From December 15 until January 6th. From 10 in the morning to 10 at night.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. 40th Half marathon. Sunday, December 16th.
  • In Vitoria-Gasteiz. 36th San Silvestre Career. Tour the city center on the afternoon of the last day of the year: December 31st.
  • In San Sebastian. 33rd San Silvestre Career. Antiguo Neighborhood (exit) / Easo Place (goal). 8,650 meters by the Antiguo, Gros, Center and Amara. December 31st.
  • In Bilbao. Punta Galea Challenge is one of 7 that form part of the prestigious Big Wave Tour, and the only one held in Europe. One day between October 15, 2018 and March 31, 2019. Date to be confirmed.
And remember, if you are thinking to come to Bilbao, San Sebastian, Rioja, Vitoria, Pamplona or anywhere else in the Basque Country, you can get a better understading on our culture and traditions with a local guide.

 contact Aitor Delgado Basque Private Tour Guide

Enjoy the Basque Country!