Dance, music, entertainment and above all conviviality, these are terms that clearly define this custom from the south of France. Winter ends slowly to give way to spring, an important moment for the Basques who joyfully celebrate the renewal of life in the Pyrenees. Put on your mask and costume to enjoy the Basque carnivals during the month of February.
Photo report: AdobStok
Every year, it is in February that you can participate in the Basque carnivals, and admire the magnificent colorful parades . Called Ihauteriak in Basque or even masquerade , this form of popular theater is a real spectacle. Listen to the music that rises in the streets of towns and villages, and let yourself be carried away by the festive atmosphere brought by all Basque generations. The end of January marks the arrival of spring , a time celebrated with customs and traditions such as the traditional awakening of the bear, or the condemnation of San Pantzar.
Depending on the city, the carnival can last several weeks, with a variety of parades and workshops depending on the festivities organized. However, some customs are essential, such as :
Don't miss these Basque Country carnival highlights and let yourself be drawn into a parade of colorful entertainment.
Get on your bike to reach the different towns, and take part in the carnival of several localities. Between greenways, cycle paths and major routes , you have plenty to pedal about.
Some villages preserve traditions at the very heart of carnival. The residents are the real actors in this street show , through :
These two important cities in the Basque Country enliven the Basque carnival every year, each with their own particularity. In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, it always begins on the 1st Saturday of the month, starting with Bear Day. Between dances, parades and workshops, the week is punctuated with activities to end the following Saturday with Pantzar's trial and shared dinner. In Bayonne, it’s the school holidays that kick off the festivities. The inevitable awakening of the bear and the pyre of Pantzar mark the carnival, just like the Joaldunak procession. Wearing shivering pointy hats, sheepskins and large bells at their waist, they announce the arrival of carnival.
Basque carnivals have their origins across the border, with the Spanish, who celebrate the end of winte. Here again, traditional dances and activities around the bear are the center of the event. Whether in Ituren or Zubieta, only the names change since Pantzar becomes Jantzilo and the bear becomes Hartza . Some characters appear in Spain with:
Don't miss the Basque carnivals in February , you will be delighted to take part in these crazy days marked by good humor and conviviality. Of course other cities such as Biarritz, Hendaye, Bidart and Anglet.
Extend your stay to visit the most beautiful coastal villages on the Basque coast on the Spanish side.
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