Day of the Blouse and the Neska

Location Vitoria-Gasteiz

25 July

As a warm-up of the Virgen Blanca festivities on July 25th, Santiago Day, Vitoria-Gasteiz celebrates Day of the Blouse and the Neska. About 25 mixed "cuadrillas" -groups of boys and girls; boys' cuadrillas are known as "blusas" and girls' "neskas"- dress a dark smock ("blusa"), espadrilles and a neckerchief.

The story goes that in past times, "cuadrillas" used to meet to attend the bullring wearing the typical work smocks not to get dirty. Later, the clothing changed to start wearing the traditional Basque clothing. "Blusas" and "neskas" attend the cemetery in order to pay a floral tribute to de deceased "blusas" from Vitoria.

One of the highest points of the festival is when about 25 "cuadrillas" parade ("paseíllo") through the streets of Alava's capital -also during Virgen Blanca festivities- to the bullring.

A "blusa" is responsible for conducting the Municipal Band in Parque de la Florida Park.

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