02 March 2023  |  Tourism, Holidays, Nature

The traditions of the Basque Country

The ocean spray Are so many silent complaints That my aging heart perceives Like a sounding board It plays music Audible to me alone And who attracts me Like a magnet Den HALL

The ocean spray, the fresh air that caresses the face, nature as far as the eye can see, the breathtaking landscapes... so many elements that make us love the Basque Coast.

Do you really know all the traditions that make the Basque Coast a unique place in France.

The Basque, the Basque language

Did you know, in the Basque Country we speak the Basque language: Euskara, the oldest language in Europe.

On the Basque Coast we live its culture, its music, its dance, its crafts and its gastronomy.

Les Danses Basques - Basque dances

The Basques managed to keep a rich and spectacular repertoire of traditional dances which has been able to adapt and evolve with society.

The most famous dances are the Mutxiko.

A large circle following the rhythm of the music.

Vibrate to the rhythm of the Basque festivals where conviviality and tradition are honored. All year round the villages of the Basque Country are punctuated by traditional festivals.

Festival of Espelette, feast of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, fireworks of Saint-Sebastien, Basque festival in Hendaye, feast of Guéthary, festival of tuna and the feast of Bayonne...

Discover the list of holidays throughout the year.

The traditional Basque House - Etxea

"Extra" designates the Basque house. They occupy a large place in society, they are easily recognizable due to their white and red colors.

Basque Country

Colors: Red, "gorri" in Basque, would correspond to ox blood, it was used so that the wood did not rot and to protect the elements.

Green, "berde" in Basque, would come from the extraction of iron ore, present in Basque soils.

Blue, "urdin" in Basque, finds its origins in the maritime past of the region. The families used the remains of the fishing boat paintings.

Les sports basques - Basque sports

Basque pelota

Origin of the game of tennis, there are several ways to play it, in a free place, on a pediment, in a trinquet, on the wall on the left, the Cesta Punta.

  • With the Chistera: sort of wicker basket fixed by the hand of the toy by a leather glove.

  • with bare hands

  • With Sala/Paleta: wooden racket.

You will find on the central square a pediment in the Basque villages.

The outfit of the pelotari: to play pelota remains unchanged, it is white pants and white sports shoes and polo shirt in the colors of the club. To find out more about this typical sport, you can go to a fronton to watch a game or visit the Basque Pelota Ecomuseum in Saint-Pée-Sur-Nivelle.

Pelote Basque

La mythologie basque - Basque mythology

The Basque culture is a very old culture which still arouses many researches and questions.

Most of the characters are related to natural elements like the sun, the wind, the mountains and the forests.

Husband or mother goddess The central character of Basque mythology. Mari is said to live underground or in mountainous caves like many goddesses. Places around Mari: Anboto Cave and Basajun.

The Basque Songs

As engaging, whether in churches, rugby, the ball game, or during the Basque festivals, the Basque song still sounds!

Basque gastronomy

Basque cake, Bayonne ham, Espelette pepper and Ossau-Iraty are all popular Basque products in the region.

The Basque cake, which can be filled with pastry cream or black cherry. They can be found in local bakeries.

Bayonne ham, cut into thin slices, it melts in the mouth with its delicate and slightly salty flavor, a treat.

The Espelette pepper, it raises all the dishes in the Basque Country but also elsewhere where it is very appreciated. Take the opportunity to go to Espelette, a pretty village located inland, where you will see the peppers drying in the sun on the red and white facades.

Basque Country

 © Pixabay 

The Ossau-Iraty, is a sheep cheese; in whole milk, traditional Béarn and the Netherlands. It is even the only sheep cheese from the Pyrenees of protected origin.

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