(this post was on mugalari.wordpress.com, I´ve brought it to this blog as we are now celebrating this special festivity)
This was a land of pagans in the old times, and was christianized late compared to other territories. It´s also a very mountainous land and full of (formerly) isolated valleys – one of the reasons for the seven varieties of Basque language in such a tiny territory -. Thus, there are a wide variety of rituals specific to one area only, even one town, that make this country so attractive and misterious in many ways.
One of the rituals most celebrated (as in many places around the world) is Carnival (Inauteria or Aratuste, in Basque). There are some traditional and very picturesque ones, like those celebrated in Tolosa, Lesaka, Mundaka, Ituren and Zubieta (video of the carnival at Ituren) or those in Lantz (Navarre), accompanied by a variety of mythological characters (Ziripot, Miel-Otxin, Markitos, etc) . www.tu.tv/videos/carnaval-de-lantz-baile for a sample of the carnival at Lantz.
Many other towns celebrate their pagan rituals during carnival time, but I wanted to show you those above as quite peculiar and very linked to our land.