All posts tagged: basque

| just a casual friday night witch burning |

It started with a witch burning and ended on the 5:40 AM train back to San Sebastian. This was my Friday night. – – – – – – – – – – – Starting from May till the end of September every pueblo (little town) has it’s fiesta weekends. Last weekend it was in Beasain. Our friend Nicole lives out in these parts, so Gemma and I ventured out to the small town to partake in their weekend celebrations. Talk of witch burning and bar hopping had our ears perked and we soon arrived ready to take part. We dropped our things off at Nic’s, ate dinner, and meandered down to the town center. It was 10:30 and the crowds had gathered: young and old alike. The drums sounded and the “witch children” started coming into town — ready with torches. The story goes: Once upon a time there was a witch who lived in the mountains. She came into town and fell in love with one of the Beasin men — so they married and he …

| just call the germans & tell them a lie |

The title of this post may lead you to believe I want to write about god knows what — however, this post is about music. And no, I have nothing against Germans. Being surrounded by music is something that I’ll always look for in my life. I can’t imagine my life without it. Even though I play around with the guitar a little bit, it’ll never be like hearing truly talented musicians play. I was lucky to have grown up in a home that always had music on the radio, a CD playing, or melodies pouring from my brothers bedroom from one of the few instruments he plays. Then when I went to college I surrounded myself with talented friends who could play the guitar, sing, and simply had a love of performing. And now again, my life here in San Sebastian, I have found myself in the midst of artists from around Europe. I couldn’t imagine spending my Sunday evening any other way – glasses of wine, freshly baked cookies, and good friends sitting around and making …

| the basque and the block party |

Sure, city festivals take place around the world. Sure, I haven’t been to a huge lot of them, but I certainly know that nothing I have experienced compares to Tamborrada in San Sebastian. Beginning months in advance, kids, adults, and teenagers (yes, it’s cool) meet weekly to practice the routines, the sheet music, and prepare for 24-hours of drumming. Yes, drumming. The ceremony begins at midnight on the 19th of January and lasts 24 hours. Of course there’s just enough time to rest between the opening ceremony and the constant performances throughout the city the following day. As beautiful as this tradition is: costumes, music, sense of community – it’s loud. So, if you live near the center, don’t count on sleeping unless you’ve invested in some quality earplugs. As for the history of this tradition, it’s a bit spotty. Associated with the French occupancy of the Basque country, there are two costumes worn during La Tamborrada: soldiers and chefs. As the French soldiers began their charge into the city they played their drums assuring everyone knew of their presence. “One day as …