Three Basque Christmas Carol & Traditions

The Basque is one of the oldest populations in Europe, with a lot of different traditions that locals take care of. This is why still nowadays you can hear their local language or see old traditions.
Today we will center on the Christmas traditions of the area. Merry Christmas! or as we say: "Zorionak!"

A- Santo Tomás This is not a religious day, but is strictly observed by locals in a lot of villages and towns and even in cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian. There are Basque traditional sports and music happening all over and you can try the typical product of the day "talo con txistorra" (a corn tortilla filled with fresh chorizo sausage)

Basque Christmas Traditions as seen in San Sebastian
Mari Domingi
Basque Christmas Traditions as seen in San Sebastian
B- Olentzero and Mari Domingi These are the preferred issue for the kids.

On the night of December 24th to 25th, an old coalman comes down from the mountains to give gifts to the local kids. Does it ring you a bell? It is the Basque equivalent to Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Kris Kringle or Saint Nicholas. But there is a small but interesting difference. He has a woman colleague: Mari Domingi. A reflection of the important role that historically women had in the Basque Culture. (Some scholars refer to the Basque culture as a matriarchy) 

C- Christmas Carols We were surprised when at the beginning of December we learned by About Basque Country that the British journal "The Telegraph" included in the first day of his Advent Calendar a Basque origin song: "The Angel Gabriel". In the Basque Country really we sing on these days more other songs, like "Olentzero" that you can hear in the video here, but we appreciate the gesture of the British journal!  

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