The Basque Country is known for its festive character with over 3,000 yearly celebrations which are eagerly attended by the local inhabitants. We had the chance to attend many of these festivals which are the expression of well established traditions and are often linked to Catholicism. Some celebrate a city’s Patron Saint while others are linked to the Catholic calendar. The Corpus Christi Celebrations that take place each year in the small town of Oñati provide a good example of this phenomenon. The entire town is in the street to attend a colourful processions where representations of various Patron Saint are escorted to the church by colourful dancers. After the mass, one can see live performances of the Apostles, the Archangel Michael and Christ alongside dancers moving to the sound of castanets and the txistu, the Basque flute. The celebration ends in front of city hall after which everybody gathers in local pubs for to drink a cold txakoli wine.

LEARN MORE