Gijón/Xixón is even more Gijón/Xixón in August. August is our city’s most festive, sparkling month, with cultural, folk and gastronomic activities occurring almost non-stop from the beginning of the month right through to September. On 2nd and 3rd August, the Gijón/Xixón International Folk Festival offers a panorama of the traditions of a variety of countries from all over the world. It is one of this month’s proposals that draws the most crowds and is complemented by the Tonada Singing Contest that fills the Plaza Mayor (town square) every day.
Boasting over twenty scheduled activities, the Semana Grandeor “Grand Week”, also popularly known as the “Semanona”, constitutes the major offering for residents and visitors alike. The fiestas commences with the proclamation to be delivered on 5th August this year by journalist Lara Álvarez, herself from Gijón, who has already shown that she is “Crazy about Gijón” on more than one occasion. Our peculiar “rocket” announcing the start of festivities will launch a marathon of offerings staged in the city streets. That same day, there will be a bagpipe recital and an open-air dance in the evening with music provided by the Pikante Orchestra.
Jovellanos is the protagonist on 6th August, with the traditional tribute and laying of a wreath in the square dedicated to this “illustrious son” of Gijón. The 7th sees the celebration of the Day of Asturias in Gijón/Xixón, a public festivity that also combines a picnic lunch, folklore and music of all kinds… all to be enjoyed with the family (or friends).
The week then continues with one or more concerts each day, worth highlighting among which are performances by Martirio, on the 12th, and Mocedades and Los Panchos, on the 13th. As in previous years, the stages in the Plaza Mayor and at Poniente Beach will be the two focusses of attention for the public attending these summer concerts.
On 14th August, Fireworks Night will constitute the high point of the Semana Grande with a massive turnout on the seafront bordering San Lorenzo Beach. A display of light and colour that never disappoints the hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the seashore. On 15th August, which is a local holiday, the religious tradition of honouring the patron saint will be accompanied by two of the classic events of the day: the Restallón (fireworks signalling the end of the fiestas) and the Danza Prima (a primitive dance), both on the seashore.
In the second fortnight of August, the different districts and parishes of the borough will keep up the intense and extensive festive programme until the last weekend of the month which sees the holding of the Natural Cider Festival. The festival will include its now traditional attempt to break the world record of people simultaneously pouring cider, cider and apple market, competition for cider pourers, traditional cider tavern songs, free cider tasting, Gold Accolade Award for best cider served at the festival, People’s Choice Award for best cider served at the festival, performances by bagpipe bands and folk groups, the Cider Bus, and recognition of work carried out in defending and promoting cider, rewarded with the Golden Cask Award.
August will end on a high note, constituting a month overflowing with fun where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the vitality of city with the energy and desire to continue partying all summer long.