Over nine days from the Saturday following August 15, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin, the popular Great Week, known in Basque as Aste Nagusia, is celebrated in Bilbao. It is considered the most important event to take place in the capital of Biscay.
This joyous celebration is characterized by a series of cultural, artistic and musical activities that include concerts, bullfights, the popular Giants and Bigheads, and gastronomic tastings, among others.
Great Week begins with the traditional launch of a small rocket called the “chupinazo” and the inauguration by the selected town crier. From there, activities of great tradition take place, including the comparsas made up of neighbourhood, political or cultural associations and the burning of the Marijaia, a huge doll whose incineration takes place on the last day of Great Week. Marijaia has been the official symbol of the festivities since 1978.
These celebrations are incredibly popular and have come to host more than a million and a half attendees. That is why Great Week was included in the select list of the 10 Treasures of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain in 2009.