Easter in Bilbao procession

What To Do This Easter in Bilbao: 2024 Edition

Anytime is a good time to visit the Basque Country, but the bright colours of the spring make special this time of the year. When the cold weather starts giving up and the sun starts shining longer hours, an explosion of colours emerge in our mountains and lands. Oak and Beech Forest begin dying green with new leaves coming out and small daisies, or txiribitak in Basque, grow everywhere. Some rainfalls are still occurring, combining with sunny days, reflecting a bright green color all around.

The origin of the Easter: The Religious Bizkaia

Easter in the Basque Country comprises 5 days of festivity, the dates for easter go from Maundy Thursday, the good Friday, and it lasts until Easter Monday. During easter season, you can find many religious processions and festivities to commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ.

Probably the most famous one is the “Living Passion” in the medieval village of Balmaseda. In Balmaseda, the historical events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus are represented dramatically for two days. But people hold other famous functions all over the Basque Country, in villages like Arkotxa, Berango, or Durango.

Famous Easter celebration in Basque village Balmaseda

How do people celebrate Easter in other small villages of the Basque Country?

Easter in Spain is a testament to the country’s rich tapestry of traditions, where each region, city, and even village celebrates in its own distinctive way. Among these, the villages of Arkotxa, Berango, and Durango in the Basque Country offer a fascinating glimpse into local customs that both preserve ancient rituals and breathe new life into the festive season.

Celebrating Easter in Arkotxa

Nestled in the Basque Country, Arkotxa may be small in size but it’s grand in its Easter celebrations. The village comes alive with a mix of religious devotion and communal joy. Traditional Basque dishes fill tables, while the streets resonate with the sounds of music and procession. A highlight is the «Procesión de los Santos,» where locals carry statues of saints through the streets, a practice that blends historical reverence with contemporary spirituality.

Easter in Basque village Arkotxa

Easter Traditions in Berango

Berango, with its scenic beauty and rich historical roots, offers a unique backdrop for Easter festivities. This village retains a deeply personal approach to the Easter season, with community members actively participating in both spiritual and social activities. Central to Berango’s Easter celebration is the «Misa de Resurrección» (Resurrection Mass), a profound communal prayer service that reflects the villagers’ strong faith and unity.

Following the service, the town square becomes a hub of festivity, with traditional Basque music, dance, and, notably, a communal meal featuring the region’s seasonal produce and specialties. Unique to Berango is the «Eguzki Lore» festival, a symbolic welcoming of spring and renewal, woven into the Easter celebrations. This event showcases floral displays, local artisans, and musicians, creating a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates both Easter and the arrival of spring.

Durango’s Easter Celebrations

Durango, known for its historical significance and vibrant cultural scene, takes a comprehensive approach to Easter. The town’s observances merge religious solemnity with cultural exhibitions, making it a dynamic place to experience during Holy Week.

A pivotal aspect of Durango’s Easter is the «Via Crucis Viviente,» a live reenactment of the Stations of the Cross, which draws participants and spectators from across the region. This powerful performance traverses through the town’s historic streets, creating a moving tableau of faith and tradition.

Durango celebrates Easter with a focus on food traditions. They offer a «Pintxo Pote» route for tapas and drinks. This allows locals and visitors to enjoy the experience together. A signature event is the Easter market, where artisans and farmers showcase the best of local crafts and produce, embodying Durango’s spirit of community and sustainability.

Basque easter celebration in durango

Bilbao Basque FEST Energizes Easter Week:

Setting aside the religious aspects of these festive days, Easter Week in Bilbao is brimming with activities for everyone to enjoy through Bilbao Basque FEST. The festival will unfold a comprehensive program featuring approximately 200 activities catering to all ages and tastes.

From March 27 to 31, 156 artists will perform in concerts, dances, monologues, and street performances.These include concerts, dances, monologues, and street performances. The event will also feature pilgrimages, traditional sports exhibitions, tastings, and workshops. These will showcase products from the region for the public to enjoy.

With its six usual themes: Gourmet, Culture, Musika, Market, Zinema, and Sport, this year’s festival revolves around two key elements—female talent and emerging bands. The festival has street processions, open-air dances, and theatrical routes led by hosts. There are also leisurely walks along the Ría with Mirentxu and Begotxu. These activities complement the classic offerings.

Bilbao Basque FEST is also enhancing its children’s programming. Doña Casilda Park will host daily circus workshops and theater sessions, while the Ensanche Building will be the stage for various magic shows. Young ones will also receive a special visit from the popular and entertaining Gargantua on the esplanade of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

This is the schedule for Bilbao Basque FEST.

Bilbaso Basque fest 2024 celebration


As spring breathes new life into the Basque Country, dressing its landscapes in vibrant colors and inviting the community to partake in a season of renewal, Easter emerges as a time of reflection, celebration, and unparalleled cultural immersion. Whether you’re drawn to the spiritual solemnity of traditional processions, the communal joy of open-air festivals, or the dynamic buzz of Bilbao’s city-wide extravaganza, there’s something in the Basque Country’s Easter celebrations for every traveler.

Don’t miss the chance to experience Easter in one of the most culturally rich regions of Spain.

Plan your visit to experience unique Basque festivities with Basqvium. Explore the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Basque Country during your trip. From the quiet villages to the bustling streets of Bilbao, let the spirit of Easter and the warmth of Basque hospitality fill your spring with unforgettable memories.

Book your trip now and dive into the vibrant Easter celebrations of the Basque Country

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