Balmaseda, 1972. Two guys meet.
-Aupa hi! Are you in a hurry? Have a glass with me!
-I can’t , I’m taking grandson Xabi from ikastola.
-Ikastola , Andoni , you know. Euskal eskola (Basque school). Our daughter wants Xabi to study in Euskera, grandma’s mother tongue.
-Ah,ikastola! That little house in El Castillo street, isn’t it?
Balmaseda,2012 at Ikastola.
-40 years…do you remember?
-Yes, I do. My cousin was one of those students, those little children who are in their 40s now.
-Great idea those parents had…We have to celebrate it.
-Of course!!! Has anybody any brilliant idea?
(there’s a big silence)
-Why not? I know somebody who can help us!
-and we can involve whole ikastola: children, parents, teachers… we can call the whole town!!!!
The story starts, everybody is excited!
Little time, lots of things to do.
-It has to be unforgettable! Everyone will talk about it.
-Hey, we need a slogan!
-EUSKARAZ BIZI NAHI DUT (I WANT TO LIVE IN BASQUE). LOVE in BASQUE, ENJOY in BASQUE,PLAY in BASQUE, BUY in BASQUE…THINK,SPEAK,FEEL in BASQUE!!!
Everybody is out. Students wearing T-shirts with our slogan, parents in the streets, grandmas, grandpas, shopkeepers, cameramen and, of course Argitxo, our special elf, our dream maker.
Midway between the Bay of Biscay and the capital city of Nafarroa, Iruna (Pamplona), in the heart of the northern Basque speaking region lies the valley of San Esteban of Lerin. Its three largest towns are Doneztebe (Santesteban), Ituren and Zubieta. It is in these last two towns that the inhabitants still regularly celebrate the age-old ritual of carnival with the impressive exhibition of the Joaldunak. For two days a year they march clanging their bells.
He’s assisted by, txatxos, the young boys of Lantz whoare lavishly clothed and armed with brooms and shovels which they can use to pester nearby spectators.
Miel Otxin and Ziripot in Lantz, a small town with a population of a little more than 120. Yet each year the town attracts many visitors who come to witness the fiery death sentence of the evil bandit Miel Otxin, a carnival character who symbolizes frustration, injustice and basically anything bad. In reality, he’s actually a stuffed effigy that stands about three meters tall, constructed
of two branches of beech wood connected to form a stick-figure cross.
He’s then dressed in gaudy clothes —flowery shirts, blue pants and a strap
around the waist—and stuffed with straw. He’s also adorned with a handkerchief
and a special hat that’s usually decorated with multi-colored paper.
Accompanying Miel Otxin is another important character. His name is Ziripot,
a bizarrely good-natured figure made of a sack so tightly stuffed with hay that he’s almost too bloated to move.
Another significant figure is Zaldiko, a wild centurion horse who constantly
hassles the clumsy Ziripot by pushing and striking him in an effort to make him
The zaku zaharrak take to the streets of Lesaka inside their straw sacks and egg the public on with their pizontziak (bladders).
The mamuxarros shake their hazel staffs in the streets of Unanu. Dressed in white, they wear bronze masks to hide their identity. The momotxorros parade through Alsasua with their bloodied costumes and great horns and dance together with the witches and phantoms, presided over by Lucifer.
The “kotilungorri” from Uztaritze.
“Hartza” (the bear) from Arizkun.
“Atorrak” from Mundaka.
Carnival Festival is a traditional festival around the world.
We know that they are very famous carnival festivities in Venice but here, in the Basque Country, we also celebrate it.
We have many different characters and we will try to show you some of them.
But Monday, we came to celebrate carnival in our school and we dress up ourselves around a topic. The topic (in our class) was “the circus”. Some of us came dressed up like a clown, like a sharkman, like an acrobat…