A Basque in Boise

St. Agueda celebrations in Boise

Boise Basques and non-Basques will celebrate St. Agueda again this year.

Santa Agueda 2012 at Leku Ona, Boise, IdahoSaint Agatha of Sicily (died ca. 251) is a Christian saint. Her memorial is on 5 February. She was born at Catania, Sicily, and she was martyred in approximately 251. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

She is the patron saint of Catania, Molise, Malta, San Marino and Zamarramala, municipality of Segovia in Spain. She is also the patron of martyrs, wet nurses, fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mount Etna.

Basques have a tradition of gathering on Saint Agatha’s eve (Santa Ageda bezpera in Basque) and going round the village. Homeowners can choose to hear a song about her life, accompanied by the beats of their walking sticks on the floor or a prayer for those deceased in the house. After that, the home-owner donates food to the chorus. This song has varying lyrics according to the local tradition and the Basque language.

There will be a celebration at Boiseko Ikastola (1915 West University Drive, 208/343-4234) on FridayFebruary 8th at 10AM. at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center (611 Grove Street, 208/343-2671) on MondayFebruary 4th at 7 PM, then at Boiseko Ikastola (1915 West University Drive, 208/343-4234) on Friday, February 8th.

The Euskera students have been learning about the ancient celebration and have learned the traditional song that is sung door to door every year. This event is open to the public and we hope you will join us. We will provide the traditional sticks that accompany the song as well as the lyrics.

Please feel free to invite anyone you’d like!


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