In Bilbao travelers are attracted not only by truly unique sights, but also by unforgettable national holidays, the most famous of which is certainly Semana Grande de Bilbao. The festival, which name can be also translated as "Big Week of Bilbao", is organized every year. The festival starts on the last Saturday before August 22 and lasts nine days. This celebration has appeared rather not long ago. For the first time Semana Grande de Bilbao was officially celebrated only in 1978. Previously numerous fair trades and August festivities had no official status, even though they were always celebrated with a grand scale. Each year the city's main festival is held in accordance with a special script, which is written by authors from of various districts of the city. A large fair trade is considered an essential part of each celebration. This is the place where you can buy numerous interesting crafts and souvenirs, as well as taste various dishes and delicious sweets. All main celebrations are traditionally held on the square in front of Theatre Arriaga. During nine days the square hosts numerous music and dance performances, special performances for children, strength competitions and many other interesting cultural events.
In accordance with an old tradition, one of the prominent inhabitants of the city should make a speech on the first day of the holiday. 10 years after the official proclamation of the holiday the so-called "town crier" received a special uniform. The suit hasn’t changed at all over the years and nowadays it consists of a bright yellow jacket, a tailcoat, a black cocked hat, a wide white belt and white trousers. The celebration is notable by one more important tradition - a launch of a missile. This solemn mission is trusted to the winner of the local beauty contest, which is referred by the locals as "chupinera". This girl must also be present at the ceremony wearing a festive costume – a scarlet jacket, a scarlet beret and a fluffy black skirt. The launch of a missile takes place on the main square of the city and signifies the beginning of the holiday.
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