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Glitterati descend on San Sebastián for its international film festival in the second half of September (exact dates vary, check www.sansebastianfestival.com). The same goes for the late-July jazz festival (www.heinekenjazzaldia.com), which draws many of the world's top performers. Saint's day is celebrated here January 19-20 with La Tamborrada, when 100-odd platoons of chefs and Napoleonic soldiers parade hilariously through the streets.
Pamplona's feast of San Fermín (July 6-14), made famous by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises, remains best known for its running of the bulls. Bilbao's Semana Grande (Grand Week), in early August, is notorious for the largest bulls of the season and a fine series of street concerts.
Near San Sebastián, on August 7th every four years (the next will be in 2013), the fishing village of Getaria celebrates Juan Sebastián Elkano's completion of Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world. The fiestas include a solemn procession up from the port of the weather-beaten, starving survivors and a week of feasts, dances, and street parties.
Vitoria's weeklong Fiesta de la Virgen Blanca (Festival of the White Virgin) celebrates the city's patron saint with bullfights and more August 4-9.
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