The cultural capital of the Principality
Asturias has a dichotomy: while Oviedo and its 225,391 inhabitants is the place where policy is made, Gijón, with 277,559 registered people, is the cultural capital of the Principality. Mining has been losing weight in the city’s economy and in its place, cultural events and festivals have invaded its every day.
Rare is the week of the year when Gijón does not have a meeting, an event or an awards show to help attract fans of different arts to the city.
The origin of this shift in how to feed the city can be traced to 1963. That year, the City of Gijón, along with the former Caja de Ahorros de Asturias, organized the International Competition of Children's Film and TV, although it was in 1986 when the name was changed to the Gijón International Film Festival and began to be consolidated as one of the most important events in Europe of "independent, young and risky film."
While the International Film Festival found its way, others were joining to make the city the capital of culture. Among these, the Semana Negra, held in July and, after focusing in 1988 on the professional novel world of crime, opened to new genres such as science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction.
Another event is the Asturias International Comic Fair, the second oldest in Europe and which takes place in October. One more is the Semana Grande, patron saint festivities so huge that they take up 15 days every August with concerts, theatre and fireworks.
Also the European Children’s Theatre Fair (February), the International Folklore Festival (July), a jazz festival (November), another festival on mountains, one on gospel, another about puppets ... Endless choices all year that allow Gijón to proudly bear the title of culture capital of Asturias.
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