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FIESTAS POPULARES Fiestas de San Pedro y San Marcial. Irún (Guipúzcoa)

  • Issue date: 05/06/2006
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (vertical)
  • Sheet effects: 50
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,29 €
  • Print run: 1.000.000
  • Dented: 13 3/4

The traditional series « Fiestas Populares » (Popular Festivities), devoted to spreading the most exceptional popular fiestas in Spain, is issued on occasion of the Fiestas de San Pedro y San Marcial. Irún (Basque region).


Every year, on June 30th the streets of the town of Irún are flooded with bright colours. It’s San Marcial day, and everyone dresses up with red berets (txapelas), red scarves, white trousers, white espadrilles and black jackets, to commemorate the battle between the militia of Irún and the French troops. This took place in 1522 and as a thanksgiving offering for the victory of Irún, the villagers built a shrine in honour of San Marcial (the patron saint of the day the battle took place) in mount Aldabe, where the battle occurred. These fiestas are known as the Sanmarciales, and they are considered as being of National Tourist Interest. The celebrations, as they are known today, date back from 1881 and amongst the activities scheduled during the festivity days the most outstanding is the Alarde de San Marcial, a military parade made up of companies representing the different town districts. These companies are led by a lady-in-waiting with her followers, traditionally men, who are dressed with the characteristic gown and, bearing a shotgun, gather in the town hall square where the general reviews the troops whilst they shoot gun salutes to commemorate the fiesta. Then follows the Arrancada, when all participants begin the walk to the sound of music and military march to the shrine in Mount San Marcial to celebrate the procession and spend the day in the countryside. The stamp features the painting of Gaspar Montes Iturrioz depicting the shooting of the shotguns in mount San Marcial and the shrine amongst green trees. Gaspar Montes Iturrioz (Irún 1901-1998) is a master painter of the Basque country, specialising in landscapes and local customs.

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