TAMBORRADAS (DRUM PARADES)
San Sebastián Turismo. Foto de Javier Larrea
Tamborrada in the Cathedral of El Buen Pastor, San Sebastián
In some Spanish towns, the traditional fiestas include processions accompanied by drums (tambores). These events are called tamborradas and have been classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
The tamborradas of San Sebastián began in 1881 when the City Council presented the city’s culinary societies with the drums and uniforms of the Napoleonic troops in order to organise a group parade. The tamborrada of Calanda, in Teruel, is said to have begun in 1627 when a friar suggested people bang pots and pans during the processions. In Hellín, Albacete, the tamborradas began in the 18th century when the Procesión de los Azotes, a parade of flagellants, was led by musicians and drummers. These are just a few of the examples of towns where the history and tradition of the tamborradas have survived to our time. Every year, these drums create a fascinating and evocative sensory environment, full of emotion, culture and tradition. Divided into categories such as recreational and devout, or as civil and religious, the tamborradas represent the transmission of a cultural legacy from generation to generation, with the more experienced drummers showing the younger ones how to play and march. Also, the drums and the costumes are made by traditional artisans, contributing to the local economy.