The basque culture
The basque language or euskara is one of the important aspects of the Basque culture. It is a living language which is spoken by more than a million people. Spanish is also widely spoken due to its geographical closeness.
The white and red basque house or “etxe” is typical and it represents the style of the Basque Country.
Lively striped linen is also a strong identity of the region. Numerous shops propose visits of their weaving workshops which enables one to admire their traditional know-how. A fasinating discovery!
The Basque Country is known for its parties and festivals which take place all year long. At the end of July, Bayonne gets dressed in white and red during five days to celebrate the Basque tradition. The program entails pelota, bullfights, calf races, parades of floats and concerts which give rhythm to the city.
The participants are all wearing white with a scarf and a red belt (cinta or faja).
Songs and sports
In the Basque Country, the traditional activities coinside also with the more contemporary activities such as surfing which is often practised at Biarritz and Hossegor.
The pelota is strongly inspired by ancestral jeu de paume. This sport is played with a bare hand on a single or two walled court which can be found in every village.
The Basque population always considered strength and courage as two essential social values. The strongest ones devote themselves to traditional sporting games such as lumberjacks (aizkolariak) and tug-of-war (soka- pulled). Dancing and the singing are also elements which forge the Basque culture. Don’t miss these traditionelle regional gatherings in the villages !
The gastronomic culture
Thanks to it’s fishing, one finds at the Basque Country markets a very big variety of sea products such as anchovy, sea bream or cod. A traditional culture made of small cultivation, the Basque Country produces a wide product range from their region : cheeses, lamb, wines …
Impossible to evoke the Basque Country without speaking about Espelette chili and about tapas and pintxos, real miniature dishes. Specialities which will delight the gourmands !
Concerning sweet food, the Basque cake is not one to be missed ! Filled with black cherries, or pastry cream with almond or vanilla, it is to be consumed without moderation !
Great holidays in the Basque Country !